We had a very successful mission from 9/14 to 9/17/2015. There were 5 doctors, 8 nurses and other ancillary staffs. We served about 400 patients with various health conditions and primarily hypertension, diabetes, and malaria.
We served all age groups of men, women, and children. Notably this year, we saw a large number of young adults 16 to 18 years. Most utilized the free services to obtain health screening and medical consultation. They wished to be reassured that they were healthy. They were especially thankful for the free services. We hope that we also sowed seeds of community service and that they will be inspired to pay it forward.
3 stories stand out that capture 2015 medical mission experiences and impact:
We have the permission of these three participants to share their stories and pictures.
The first story is about Mrs. Felicia who is in her 30s and presented with her 4 children ages 2 to 8 years. Mrs Felicia presented to the clinic on Tuesday 9/15 with all 4 children. She reported that she was stressed and worried about the children who were all running fever that she attributed to malaria. She said she really was at a loss about what to do until she learned about the free medical care and mission at Providence Care Community Health Center. Public announcement about the mission were broadcasted at places of worships, market centers, and community-wide events in Amichi and surrounding towns. Mrs. Felicia shared that she was especially stressed because she was also caregiving for her husband who recently suffered a stroke. She was unable to bring him with the children because she had no transportation. We served Mrs. Felicia and her children; and provided needed medications. We also encouraged her to return with her husband to the weekly Wednesday or Saturday free clinic. There are growing number of stroke cases related to uncontrolled high blood pressure. In our effort to address this problem, we provide a supply of antihypertensive medications year-round. Felicia and her children left with smiles on their faces. See a picture of Felicia and her children below.
The second story is about Mr. John Ajene, in his 60s, who presented on Tuesday 9/15 with diabetes. He returned the following day to “bear testimony to the authenticity and effectiveness of the medications” he received the previous day. He said that he usually wakes 4 times during the night to urinate. The previous night he woke up only one time. He attributed the improvement to prescription of a hypoglycemic – Glucophage. It is notable that a bottle of 1000 tablets of Glucophage 500mg costs only $35.00 and will last 1 year for him. See video of Mr. John Ajene below...
The third story is about Mr. Afokar who is in his 80s and presented for the health screening. With his permission, we followed and recorded his clinic encounter during the mission. His experience represents the typical patient encounter from registration, blood pressure check, diabetes screening, medical consult, pharmacy visit and medication education and instruction for follow-up care as needed to discharge or check out. He was diagnosed with high blood pressure and returned the next day for a recheck and start of medication. He agreed to follow-up at the weekly Wednesday and Saturday free clinic. See picture below.
To curtail the burden of chronic illness, we provided education about physical exercise and diet for weight control and long term management. We were pleased to learn that many of our patients know this information; they have taken action by reducing the quantity of carbohydrates consumed. Cassava, yam, and rice are dietary staples in this population.
We learned that eye care is greatly needed; children and adults came specifically for eye care during this 4-day mission. We have provided eye care including 50 cataract surgeries in the past. We only provided reading glasses this year. We will provide a comprehensive array of eye care for 2016 medical mission. We have a collaborative base of eye specialists in Nigeria. In addition, we need volunteer(s) ophthalmologist from US to travel to Nigeria with us!