NMFUK through its health scheme planned programmes aimed at raising awareness and improving the state of healthcare of the needy, within local communities in Nigeria. To achieve this, NMFUK through its members actively organised, supported and conducted a number of activities directed towards achieving these goals.
This included programmes where direct contact with people from local communities in Nigeria was made, with the aim of treating and managing acute and chronic health problems. This was in the form of health outreach projects. Involvement of local community stakeholders had been a key to carrying out these projects, and their contribution helped to change attitudes and provide opportunities for advocacy for health promotional programmes, education and training for healthcare staff, and collaboration with local community leaders and individuals. A consequence of these projects has been the desire for more local stakeholder driven programmes, to be carried out in the same and other newer local communities.
Another approach taken by the committee was that of forming partnerships with other charities that have similar aims of improving standard of healthcare globally. This included organisations based both in the United Kingdom and in Nigeria. Through activities and charitable fundraisers, the health committee had managed to raise awareness amongst its members here in the UK, of the deplorable state of healthcare in Nigeria and the need for both health and non-health professionals based here in the UK to try and improve these standards.
Below is a summary of the health related programmes carried out by the health committee.
Health Outreach Projects: since 2012, six communities benefited from the health outreach program, these include Kankiya, Argungu, Bakori, Anka and Kibiya and Gembu.
An approximate number of just over 2000 patients were seen and provided with medications free of charge over the course of each outreach.
The following are the general principles underpinning our health projects:
1. Request from the local community
2. Safe environment for volunteers and beneficiaries
3. Minimum 40% local sponsorship
4. Support of local authorities
Volunteer doctors in the consultation room at Anka General Hospital
Our volunteers dispensing free drugs
Patient receiving free medicines
One of the volunteer doctors performing a hernia operation
Fundraising Dinner: the health committee organises regular fundraising dinners, the last one was successfully organised in Leeds on the 14th of December. The proceeds are to be used to procure drug packs from International Health Partners (IHP), for the purpose of upcoming health outreach projects. A sum of one thousand three hundred and thirty pounds (£1,330) was raised from that fundraiser.
Sponsors can sponsor a drug pack for the next outreach programme. The cost of each pack is £450.
Health equipment collection: Concerted effort by members of the committee of informing members of the NMFUK at regional meetings and through electronic means, has meant NMFUK was able to collect a number of fairly used and new hospital equipment. These collected items were donated to selected healthcare centres in Nigeria where their use could have greater impact on the quality of care being provided. The first of such donations took place in 2014.
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