November 29, (THEWILL) – A member of the National Youth Service Corps, Dr Odede Joseph Oluwatosin, has built an Eye Clinic Centre for the Ilasa/Isolo community in Lagos State, as a personal Community Development Service (CDS) project.
The centre, which is located inside the Ilasa Primary Health Centre, was commissioned Tuesday, 29th November, 2022, by the Lagos State NYSC Coordinator, Mrs Yetunde Abimbola Baderinwa.
Speaking at the unveiling of the centre, Mrs Baderinwa commended Dr Odede for the CDS project which he delivered to the people of Ilasa and Isolo area.
The State coordinator expressed satisfaction with the completion of the project, being that she was present at the foundation laying a few months ago.
Baderinwa remarked that when Dr Odede was posted to the Ilasa Primary Health Centre, the young doctor realised that there was no facility for optometry.
According to her, the gap created by the dearth of opticians inspired Dr Odede to start the project.
Advising other corp members, Baderimwa said, “I am happy we are commissioning the project today after three months. When he was posted here from the orientation camp, he realised there was no optician at the centre. That was why he started the project. Odede is an inspiration to others; corp members should, therefore, know that anywhere they find themselves, they must identify the needs of the local community which they can build on.
Narrating how the project started, Dr Odede, a graduate of Optometry from Madonna University, Okija, stated that when he was posted to the centre for the one-year mandatory youth service, he realised there was no optician there.
According to him, his desire to fill that gap gingered his decision to start the eye clinic project.
He said, “Being posted to this community, I discovered there is a high prevalence of preventable blindness and eye diseases. The facilities to manage these conditions were deplorable. There was no place for comprehensive eye care. No office space for the doctors to see patients. So most patients are forced to go to general hospitals. That moved me to commence the project.”
He assured the large audience that by God’s grace, his host community now has a conducive environment and a world-class eye clinic centre with modern equipment for both Ilasa and Isolo at large.
Dr Odede further explained that the project which cost him about N1.3m to N1.5m within the four-month period the project was executed got assistance from notable companies around Isolo and Lagos, including: Mopson pharmaceutical Limited, Sunny White Optical Services, Enny Eye Care, Michael Cardoso, the media and others.
On the services deliverable by the centre, Odede said, “t is not in my power to say how much patients will have to pay. It is a community project and it is up to them to determine the charges patients will be paying. However, there is still some equipment that is needed to get us to the final destination.
As part of his eye care initiative, the young optician informed that he had also attended and screened up to 85 Ilasa residents and another 20 persons at the Oba of Isolo Palace in Isolo, making it a total of 105 persons that benefited from his free eyeglass donation.
Emphasising further, he said “today, we will give them free reading glasses. 20 people were given at the Oba’s Palace while the remaining 85 will get theirs today.
“My message is that the government should be more focused. Primary eye care is very important for people. Optometry seems to be sidelined in primary eye care delivery. No optometry has been employed in this centre, so people are forced to go to the teaching hospitals.”
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Ibrahim Akinwunmi Mustapha commended Dr Odede for the CDS project.
The Perm Sec who was represented by Dr Tanimowo Shola said that the importance of primary health care cannot be overemphasised, adding that he is very happy that Dr Odede has taken that challenge to fill the gap which he noticed. He advised other corp members to always think of how they can better the community they find themselves in. He promised that they will assist in seeing that the equipment needed at the centre is provided.
Also the Health Committee Chairman of Ilasa CDA, Alhaji Rahmonu S. A applauded Dr Odede, stressing that the corper is one of a kind.
Alhaji Rahmonu advised the Lagos State Government to retain the young doctor, saying that the community cannot afford to lose him to another place after his service year.
The event was attended by Lagos State Government officials, Ilasa/Isolo LCDA officials, NYSC officials, youth corpers, medical personnel, community leaders, students, traders and the media.