Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, wife of Lagos State governor, has urged parents and guardians to pay serious attention to the welfare and mental health of their children and wards, saying such was necessary to evolve a decent youth population and a sanitised society.
Speaking on Monday at a symposium on substance abuse organised by Freedom Foundation, Mrs Sanwo-Olu said it was important for parents to give quality attention to issues around their children and sometimes go as far as intruding into their business to truly be abreast with them.
She said the admonition became imperative as it had been well-established that children without proper parental care and guidance most times end up being captives of drugs.
She said: “As individual family units, we must focus on the home front by paying due attention to the welfare and mental health of our children. The type of adults that children grow to become has a lot to do with the level of decency of their upbringing.
“We must make it our business to sometimes intrude into their business by knowing who their friends are, where they go, how they relax, what they drink and so on and so forth.
“By so doing, we will be their friend and earn their confidence. It is the way to go, to positively influence our children and reduce peer pressure on them. This will help remarkably to evolve a decent youth population, for a sanitised society.”
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu also said the state government had always been proactive in the area of tackling substance abuse through initiatives, activities and infrastructure, that enhance the social stability of the teeming youths, just as she said that the Mental Health Law of the state had been recently updated to meet with current realities.
“In the current dispensation, we will see a renewed effort of government to scale up the welfare of youths, through gainful employment, modern education infrastructure, health interventions, sports and recreational activities, among others,” she said.
Speaking separately at a Medical Mission organised by James Omolaja Odunmbaku Foundation in partnership with National Sports Lottery Foundation, Mrs Sanwo-Olu said it was important for all residents to register for the recently unveiled Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme.
The event was aimed at providing free medical consultation on Cardiovascular Health in adults and Dental Health treatment for children below the ages of 10 for the residents of Ojodu Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
According to her, the scheme was a strategic policy of the government designed to achieve affordable, comprehensive and unhindered quality healthcare services for all residents.
She also said it was necessary for it to be embraced by all.
“I must add that the Health Insurance Scheme which has already been backed by law duly enacted by the Lagos State House of Assembly is a critical game changer in the effort of government to increase access to healthcare services as it is a known fact that out of pocket payment is a major factor that often time limits access to healthcare especially for indigents and other vulnerable persons in the society.
“As a medical doctor myself, I clearly understand the positive mileage we stand to gain if all residents sign on to the Health Insurance Scheme, which has been designed to cater for basic primary and selected secondary healthcare services for beneficiaries such as treatment and management of malaria, hypertension, common childhood illnesses, antenatal care services, delivery including caesarean section, among others.
“It is indeed a right move towards attaining universal health coverage, and I therefore use this medium to urge all residents to take advantage of the health scheme in order to have a healthy population,” she said.