The governor of Lagos state, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has flagged off this year’s free surgical treatment for goiter patients with advice to residents to take issues concerning their health seriously.
Speaking at the “Surgical Intervention of the Lagos State Goitre Control Programme,” held at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, yesterday, Fashola said the intervention was meant to give patients a new lease of life while the government was working on a preventive strategy.
“Securing the lives of citizens does not only include providing security personnel with ammunition,” said Fashola, adding that healthcare “is a strong tool to deliver security to the residents of the state.”
The governor added: “During our health mission programme in Badagry in December last year, our medical team noticed unusual swellings on the necks of many of the residents who attended the programme.
“The problem was later diagnosed as goitre and I was told it could be treated through surgical intervention. As for the cause, I was told is that goitre is caused by iodine deficiency. But the government has started an extensive study to know precisely the cause.
“This is because it seems to me that it is unusual that where people eat iodized salt, you see this kind of prevalence. So the investigation has commenced and the results will hopefully help us to come up with a strategy to deal with the problem.
“This is how the care will be provided; our regular health mission that usually includes screening, antenatal care, diabetes, medical consultation, hypertension and hernia treatment, we have now included goitre treatment and surgery, as the mission moves across the state.
“We will continue this but I am not sure how the medical team can cope with the large number, but the treatment will get to everyone.
“As the mission moves around, we will device means to provide treatment during the mission, we will continue this to ensure anyone with goitre gets the required treatment. When we complete the investigation, we will come out with the solution and back it with rigorous campaign to ensure that goitre cases end in the state.”
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Wale Oke, stated that at the commencement of the exercise, 30 patients were identified to have required surgery. However, he said within a few days, another 23 were added top the list.
It would be recalled that a team of medical experts deployed to Badagry had earlier commenced investigation into the causes of high prevalence of goitre in the area with a view to finding a solution to the neck-swelling disorder.