No fewer than 500 people in three communities in Rivers benefitted from a free HIV screening, malaria treatment and other healthcare services provided by the Nigerian Navy.
The beneficiaries included senior citizens, youths and children from Bundu-Ama, Isaka, and Magcobar communities in Port Harcourt.
Commodore Abolaji Orederu, the Commodore Superintendent, Naval Shipyard Limited Port Harcourt, launched the medical outreach on Monday as part of a week long celebration marking the Nigerian Navy at 63.
Orederu said during the inauguration that residents would have opportunity to check their blood pressure and blood sugar levels while patients would be de-wormed.
He said that drugs would be given to patients suffering from malaria, typhoid fever, arthritis, diabetes and hypertension as well as those diagnosed with urinary tract infections.
“The medical rhapsody is an annual event organised by the navy to reach out to its communities with focus to prevent, detect, counsel and treat those diagnosed with ailment.
“This exercise is fully paid for by the navy to provide healthcare services to people in our host communities. We are offering them free medical consultancy, drugs and medical advice.
Orederu said the naval shipyard was also giving the free healthcare services as part of its social responsibility to its Bundu-Ama, Isaka, and Magcobar host communities.
“So, we are planning to reach out to between 200 to 500 people. Our medical staff will be here (venue) until we exhaust drugs and healthcare services that we are offering.
“We are conducting checks for vital signs, such as blood pressure and blood sugar, among others. Aside this, we will also distribute treated mosquito nets to beneficiaries.
“We have been given mandate to maintain peace and cordiality with our host communities as well as remind them that we are partners in progress,” Orederu said.
The naval officer said those diagnosed with major ailments would be referred to Nigerian Navy Hospital Borokiri Port Harcourt for secondary treatment.
One of the beneficiaries, Chief Fynface Sukubo, who received screening and treatment for an ailment, commended the navy for initiating the programme.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Florence Liloo, a fish seller, expressed delight at the medical outreach, and called for its sustenance.