Beneficiaries Of Deformity Correction Surgery, Others Thank Lagos Govt For New Lease Of Life
…Protecting, making citizens happy very important for me, says Fashola
Nov 2, 2012 - Beneficiaries of the Lagos Limb Deformity Correction Surgery and Rehabilitation Exercise on Friday expressed their appreciation to Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for giving them an opportunity to compete in the society with the Governor urging the able bodied to show compassion for those who are challenged.
Governor Fashola who spoke at an interactive session he had with the beneficiaries of the Limb Deformity Correction Surgery and Rehabilitation Exercise and those about to undergo surgery at the General Hospital, Lagos said people with sights and full limbs should create some space for the challenged to compete.
"Let us look over our shoulders and realize that certain facilities have been provided for them to benefit and let us not go in an uncaring way to go and take over such facilities either because we want to do business or we want to make money. It could be us next time".
One of the beneficiaries of the exercise, Engineer Yemisi Kareem who had an artificial limb fixed to her left leg in 2009 commended the State Government for giving her a new lease of life which has ensured that not only did she benefit from the provision of the artificial limb at no cost, she also secured employment with the State Government.
Another beneficiary, Mr Adeleke Ogundimu who is a public servant in his testimony said he benefitted from the provision of a prosthetic limb from the State without knowing anybody in the Ministry of Health.
He added that he wrote through the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and was called up on phone when his application sailed through adding that the service was offered free of charge to him.
Miss Victoria Owoseni in her testimony said she was given several derogatory names by friends and peers because of the limb deformity that she had to contend with adding that the corrective surgery carried out on her has transformed her life.
Miss Owoseni who recited a melodious song in appreciation of the gesture of the Governor thanked and prayed for Governor Fashola for putting smiles back on her face.
Mr Afeez Adebayo who spoke on behalf of her sister, Miss Rukayat Adebayo who was given a wheelchair said before now her sister had become a burden on him as he had to contend with carrying her all around that even his business had suffered lack of attention from him.
Six years old Miss Eniola Akinde and Kolade Rafiu also thanked the Governor for his assistance which has given them a new lease of life.
The Governor stated that the work of protecting the citizens and keeping them happy is more important for him than building bridges or building roads because when he makes the citizens happy he is giving them an opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Governor Fashola urged other challenged people to draw inspiration from beneficiaries like Rukayat Adebayo and Mrs Odusote, a double amputee working in the General Hospital, Lagos, who are displaying the I can do it spirit.
The Governor explained that such a spirit accounts for the present government's insistence that people should not come to Lagos State to come and beg because it does not elevate the dignity of man, adding that at all times, the government will give an opportunity to every member of the society who are willing.
Appealing to the able bodied to desist from trading on the walkways, Governor Fashola explained that the wheel chairs donated to Miss Rukayat Adebayo and Mrs Odusote would mean nothing if the able bodied members of the society engages in trading on the pedestrian walks.
"That is the place where they have a right to move around. That is the place that separates them from motorists. It is not a place to trade. That is why in Europe; you will see people moving around in wheel chairs unaided going to shop, to market because they can commute".
"We have set up an Office of Disability. We have enacted a law. We have told all our officers that if you are building any public facility make sure there is a ramp. Make sure there is a lift. You will see that even in our pedestrian bridges now, you have the side that has the steps; you have the side that has the ramp", he explained.
He said if people with physical disabilities are given a chance they will live as competitively as every able bodied member of the society has been doing, adding that though everyone takes his or her ability for granted, no one is indestructible as some of the people who live with disability today were not born like that.
Calling for the concerted efforts of all Stakeholders, the Governor said as much as he would want to protect the able bodied and physically challenged citizens, he cannot do it alone but would always need the collaboration of agencies like the Police as well as the doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, radiologists and all members of the health family to assist him.
Governor Fashola who commended the efforts of the Ministry of Health personnel and supporting medical professionals said the surgeries are not free to the government though they are free to the beneficiaries because some people pay their tax which is where the money comes from.
"For those who pay their taxes, for those who make tax payment a commitment and a commitment to this commonwealth, I thank you all. For those of you who earn so much and refuse to pay anything at all, search your conscience".
"It may be you the next time who needs this help. I urge you to rethink, I urge you to contribute your part so that we can give help and support to more people like Victoria who was called several names and who before she came for the surgery nobody knew she could sing. The sky will not be a limit for her".
"Even Yemisi, the engineer, she is living life like every normal person because we extended support to her. Almost around us there are people like this who need help. Some are waiting to have their surgeries this morning, some are already recovering from the surgeries they have had".
The Governor who said he has also been to the ward where the patients are recovering said the exercise tells the government that it is on the right path as it is an exercise that would change the lives of beneficiaries for the better so radically in a way that money will probably never do.
The programme according to the Governor, shows the human angle to the government and the compassion of its employees and their commitment to work.
Appealing for a sustenance of the harmonious co-existence in the State, Governor Fashola said none of the lofty things would have been possible if there was disorder, insecurity or crime imploring that as people leave the event they must renew their commitment to be peaceful members of the society.
He said they should try to be tolerant members of the society that respects t the rights, the religion and ethnic feelings of other people and perhaps importantly to be a member of the society that will contribute its own share to the Commonwealth.
Speaking earlier , Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris said the Lagos State Limb Deformity Correction Surgery and Rehabilitation Exercise was introduced in 2004 to give every citizen an opportunity to have access to limb corrective exercise without barriers.
He said the presentation of the beneficiaries to the Governor has been designed to give past beneficiaries an opportunity to interact with the Governor as they have requested.
Prominent among those who attended the ceremony were the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Femi Olugbile and Permanent Secretary in the Health Service Commission, Dr Mrs Funmilayo Olatunji and medical officials from the State Ministry of Health and General Hospital, Lagos as well as family members of the beneficiaries.