To celebrate her birthday, serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, Hajia OJ Awa-Ibrahim recently held a medical outreach at the Anwar-Ul Islam High School, Oniwaya Road, Dopemu, Lagos.
VAwa-Ibrahim said the medical outreach was a means of giving gratitude to Almighty God, adding, “It’s not been a bad year, so I have every cause to be grateful.”
The celebrant stressed further that medical outreach was something she always had at the back of her mind, including a housing project for those needing temporary shelter due to unforeseen circumstances.
“Since the housing project will take a while to be realised, I had to embark on this drive so that I can impact my community. So, health and accommodation are two important projects for me”, she added.
Speaking further on the idea behind the medical outreach, she said, “Health is one thing that we have always been particular about growing up and in these times that we are in, where money is scarce, people tend to push health to the back of their minds, in place of eating and shelter. I believe putting together an initiative like this will help people to bridge that gap in the meantime while they stabilise themselves.”
“Besides, every part of Islam is about peace, love, care, reaching out, bridging the gap, and filling the vacuum for the less privileged, especially in our country, Nigeria where healthcare is not a very solid sector. Even if it is just for a day – just like today, someone’s life can be saved and that is more than enough for me”, she added.
On the choice of the Dopemu area for the outreach, she said, “I grew up around here, so I felt this should be my first point of call. I am not running a non-governmental organization; it is an initiative for now, in line with expectations of me as a mother, wife and human being. Also, this is one of the things expected of me as a Muslim; to reach out to the less privileged in whatever way we have been blessed, and give back.”
Awa-Ibrahim who emphasised that the project was carried out as a Muslim initiative, added, “There are a lot of Mosques, and they have leaders. What we did was to give out the access card to the different Mosques and communities and we told them about what we were doing, and the place where it would be taking place. They were pleased and thankful for it.
The medical reach-out targeted 500 people, with doctors, pharmacists and nurses in attendance. Also, about 20 patients who needed a referral to any General Hospital were catered for while gift packs were made available for all beneficiaries to take home.