By Vivian Onyebukwa

Over 800 men, women and children benefited from the Knights of St. Mulumba (KSM) Nigeria’s free Medical Mission outreach in Lagos.
The charity event targeted at the less privileged in society, was hosted by the Lagos Metropolitan Council of the KSM at the Parish grounds of the Catholic Church of the Pentecost, Ilasan, Jakande area of Lekki, Lagos Archdiocese.
The event was preceded by a Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Philip Sosu – Mobee, Chaplain of Lekki Sub-council of KSM, and the Parish Priest of the Catholic Church of Pentecost, Rev. Fr. Paul Bastos-Cardoso.

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In his homily, Fr. Bastos-Cardoso sincerely thanked KSM for their unique medical outreach charity for the less privileged, which he said was aligned with the Lord Jesus Christ’s injunctions on corporal works of mercy. He concluded that only God can reward the Knights and Ladies of St. Mulumba Nigeria for their charity and good works.
Leading KSM Knights and Ladies on the medical mission were the Supreme Knight, Sir (Dr.) Charles Mbelede, the Supreme Physician Sir (Dr.) Frank Odafen, and the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight, Sir Don Ezeh, supported by Lagos Metro Physician Dr. Charles Onuoha and other officers of the Order.
The KSM Medical team comprised 10 medical doctors of various specialization, Pharmacists, Optometrists, and Nurses – in collaboration with the Family Health Initiative (FHI), an Non Governmental Organisation (NGO).
The medical outreach commenced with a health talk on prevention and treatment of water borne diseases by Lady (Dr.) Gertrude Bassey and Sir (Dr.) Frank Odafen, followed by medical screening, consultation and treatment comprising checking of vital signs of temperature and blood pressure; Blood tests for blood sugar, Hepatitis B and C, HIV and counselling; Cervical cancer screening for women between 35 to 55 years; PSA tests for men in collaboration with John Thomas Foundation; Eye tests and giving out free reading glasses; Free consultations and dispensing of medications including deworming of children and adults.


Sir Dr Charles Mbelede, Supreme Knight of the honoured Order of KSM, Nigeria gave an insight into the Order. “Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria is an association of practicing Catholics. We are guided by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria. We have 25,000 members cut across the length and breath of this country. The medical outreach is an annual activity of the honoured Order of the Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria during which we give out our 3 Ts- time, treasure and talent.
Sir Mbelede expressed satisfaction on the turnout, and the manner it was conducted which he said was impressive.
Sir Don Ezeh, the Metropolitan Grand Knight of KSM, Lagos Metro, disclosed that some of the members of the medical team even came from far away Ijebu-Ode, Abeokuta, in Ogun State basically to provide the service. “It is our Supreme event moved around different Archdiocese annually. The last was in Benin in 2023. It has also been held in Abuja and this year is the turn of Lagos Metropolitan Council to host in collaboration with the Supreme Knight, the Supreme Physician and other officers of the Order”.
He said the outreach was necessary because a lot of people don’t have access to healthcare that they should because of harsh economic situation in the country. “Times are tough. Under normal circumstances you might find people who actually have need, such as cataract. Some might actually be sick in many ways, but they won’t have the money to go to the hospital. So what we are saying is that, rather than them go to look for the doctor, let us bring the doctors to them so that they can look at them, make all those prescriptions, and give them the drugs”.
Rev Fr Paul Bastos Cardoso, Parish Priest of the Catholic Church of The Pentecost, Ilasan, Kakande, Lekki, Lagos, noted that the medical mission was the members’ own way of working, and serving people. “It is all about service, not what you will earn, but what you give. The program is good. It is something that we should be doing especially during this critical time in our lives in Nigeria when people find it difficult to take care of themselves. So when you have something like this, giving charity, everybody would live a good life”
Beneficiaries received appropriate tests, medications and counselling, while some were referred to the St. Kizito Hospital, Jakande for further management. 100 reading glasses were given out to beneficiaries. To complement the medical consultation, tests, treatment/medication.
Beneficiaries also received food packs of rice and chicken, drinks, akara/bread, and biscuits for children.
Some of the beneficiaries of the program expressed joy and gratitude to the members of Knight of St Mulumba Nigeria for their kind gesture towards them.
One of them, Angela Agbong described it as a privilege. “For them to leave some Parishes to come here and attend to us, is a good thing. For some people, things are very hard these days. If you are having headache, you discover that the cost of a sachet of anaegesic now is N200. This is an opportunity for those who can’t afford medical bills. I pray that wherever this thing is coming from, God will provide for them and give them more strength”.
Akingbade Rachael who also came to access medical treatment expressed his gratitude to God for the Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria for introducing the program. “There are people out there who are having issues with their health, but due to lack of money, they are unable to go to the hospital because they might not afford the hospital bill. You can see the turnout today, just because it is free. I pray that God Almighty will continue to strengthen the organisers and supporters this program just to make people happy”.
Another beneficiary, Friday Omije, could not hide his feelings. “It is free. I have never seen something like this before. Again, it is well organised. Most of the places I had attended this kind of programme, there were always chaos and confusion, favouritism, but here it is well organised. I pray that God will give them the strength, and also replenish their pockets”.

 


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