THE 200 level medical students of the University of Ilorin have engaged eight Kwara rural communities with health challenges, for 21 days.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Ilorin, reported that at the Oral Presentation of Community Based Experience and Services (COBES) of the College of Health Sciences, the villages lacked basic amenities such as portable water, electricity and standard health facilities.
The report indicated that the medical students lived in the community for a period of three weeks and engaged the people on a series of health talks and community services.
According to the findings, the communities are largely under-developed, with the old people suffering from arthritis, and the relatively younger ones with hypertension.
The students report stated that some of the challenges witnessed in the communities were self medication, excessive consumption of alcohol by some people and the use of firewood for cooking, which exposes them to danger.
The COBES report also indicated that some of the services the students rendered were distribution of First Aid boxes to the health centers and schools and also erecting sign-posts and warnings on prevention of HIV/AIDs.
The reports also said the students, under the supervision of health workers, tested people for hypertension and other ailments, as well as engaged in environmental sanitation and waste disposal in the communities.
Mr Jude Ifechukwu, a medical student, who was part of the COBES posting, told NAN that though the communities were friendly to them, the people were confronted with a series of health challenges that had become the bane of their lives.
Ifechukwu disclosed that some of the health challenges prevalent in these communities included hypertension, diabetes, elephantiasis, diarrhea and typhoid, among others.
Speaking at the event, Prof Wahab Johnson, Provost of the College of Health Sciences of Unilorin, urged the students to make judicious use of their experience and serve humanity.
Johnson, who was represented by Prof Olanrewaju Adedoyin, Dean of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, appealed to the students to serve in rural communities, adding that they have already witnessed first hand, the health challenges in these communities.
In his remark, Dr Uthman Mubashir, COBES Coordinator, commended the management of the University for the initiative and the various communities for being welcoming hosts to the students.
Chief Kayode Onire, of Igbonla Kingdom, one of the communities the COBES students served, told NAN that the students were well composed and hard-working and made great impressions on the community as a whole.
Onire urged the school management to continue with such initiatives, saying that it would foster love and understanding between these future “doctors” and the rural dwellers.
Some of the communities the medical students served in included: Alakuko, Apado, Ijagbo, Ikotun, Ipee, Iponrin, Oke-Ose and Igbonla Kingdom.