By Prisca Sam-Duru

”Women should not die because they are pregnant and people should get enough information necessary to stop the unnecessary deaths.” Those were the words of Dr  Adegboyega  Akenroye, during a free medical outreach in Ondo State.

•Beneficiaries undergoing screening at the event in Ondo State recently.

Ilutitun community in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State is still enjoying the benefits of a two-day health awareness and free medical services program held recently in the state.

Organised by  BalmGilead Life Support, the free medical services was in honour of  Madam Victoria Aderemilekun Akenroye who lost her life at a very young age due to complications during childbirth.

The initiator of the outreach, Dr. Adegboyega  Akenroye, said  the outreach was in honour of his late mother, explaining that, “My mother lost her life 50 years ago as a result of complications from childbirth and it was  challenging growing up without a mother, though my  father  was supportive. My  mother was in labour for three days and three nights because the baby was breached and there was no available medical facilities and personnel on time that could have saved both mother and child.”

Akenroye, who heads BalmGilead Hospital in Lagos, regrets  that “50 years after, maternal mortality rates still remain high. “Women should not die because they are pregnant and people should get enough information necessary to stop the unnecessary deaths. That is why we are raising a foundation in remembrance of my mother. It is wrong that many women still die out of ignorance  to access the available medical facilities and to utilize them, he said.”

Participants trooped out in their hundreds to the Comprehensive High  School, Ilutitun venue of the health outreach as early as  7am  to take advantage of the services. About one thousand people came for the free treatment that included check-ups for blood pressure, blood sugar level, BMI, and treatment  of  various diseases. There were  free surgical operations  while  free medicated eye glasses  were handed out as well. There were also counseling services.

On the various ailments treated, Akenroye said the “medical team encountered different cases. “There are cases needing surgical intervention. We had  cases of  hernia,  infertility,  fibroids, dental cases among others. Many malaria and bacteria infection cases were also treated. Some have chronic diseases,  like arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, insomnia and geriatric diseases and were assisted. A  lot  of people  with high  blood pressure,  and other chronic diseases were screened, counseled and treated for the first time. This  program has helped them to know  their health status,” he stated.

He also lamented the ignorance the people live with regarding their health. “There is a major problem while the people are not aware of what the hospitals have in stock. We had to educate them  about medical  facilities we have brought. Many in the community had problem with going to hospitals to get information about their health and available health provisions.”

Dr Akenroye recalled how his mother died young because of delay in accessing medical facilities. “She was in labour for three days and three nights because they could not even transport her to where to get medical  assistance. Even when she was eventually  transported  to the general hospital, the  only doctor had travelled. She  had to wait for  another 24 hours  to get the emergency treatment she needed. However, despite a surgical intervention, she lost her life due to post-operative complications.”

“Unfortunately,  even 50 years after, according to the statistics available there are about 5,000 mothers that  still  died  after child birth last year and those were the ones reported.”

Also  helping out at the health outreach was a  retired Chief Medical Consultant at the Ondo State Specialist Hospital Akure, Dr.  Manuwa Idowu Akenroye and Dr Ilesami Ogunsuyi, the director of Medical services at the Federal Prisons in Ondo State.

The Consultant and uncle to the initiator of the project added that, “Dr. Akenroye’s mother died during child birth when he was a little boy. Fortunately I was with him I know the story and when he turned around and told me he wants to do this I said that is a good thought and I wish him well.

“The program is about preventing mothers and children from dying. To me if we can dedicate a day every year to remember this woman with this kind of event, it is worth it.”

Mrs. Monisola  Akenroye, an accountant and  wife of  the initiator of the project  who was deeply involved in the planning,  expressed satisfaction and fulfillment at the success of the outreach. “”I feel fulfilled  I know that what we are doing now is exactly what  God really wants  us to do.  This is not the first outreach but this is the first major one because we have had series of outreaches in America where we raised funds  for children living with cancer. We have also raised  funds for St. Joseph’s home, a motherless babies home, and for abandoned mothers’ homes. We have been doing it in our small ways but this is the first major outing and we are thrilled about the outcome’. She promised that it would henceforth be a regular event.

On the NGO’s future plan, she revealed that, “What we intend to do is to put up a mother and child health centre. Not really a full-fledged hospital but somewhere they can get them information awareness on what is going on. Majorly we intend to have an ambulance service so that in case of emergency they can easily use it to move people around to the nearest hospital.”

One of the beneficiaries Mrs. Grace Daso, 75, a retired teacher expressed appreciation for the initiative. “I thank the organisers for this kind gesture. I have been battling an eye defect and this is coming at the right time.

The remembrance events which was kick-started with a thanksgiving and  launch of the Victoria Aderemelekun Akenroye Foundation on November 12 (including the launch of her biography titled  The Ultimate Sacrifice  at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (Grace Sanctuary) in Lagos,  followed by the medical outreach  on  17th  and 18th  November, climaxed with a two –day  gospel  crusade at Ilutitun.

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Source: Vanguard News

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50 yrs after, doctor honour’s mom with free medical services to curb maternal mortality  
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