Nigeria: Healthcare Project, Gure
Free Healthcare Week: April 2019
June 21, 2019
Dr. Ufuoma Ejughemre
Summary of Activities
Real Medicine Foundation has been active in Nigeria since 2006, first working to provide pediatric care to the estimated 15,000 young children living in the shantytown of Makoko in Lagos State. Supported by World Children’s Fund (WCF) and in partnership with the Kwara State Ministry of Health, the Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and the Gure Gwassoro Ward Development Committee, we then began working to improve access to primary health care in one of the most remote areas of Nigeria: the community of Gure in Kwara State.
Gure is located near Nigeria’s border with the Republic of Benin, and before RMF’s arrival in 2009, its only health center, Gure Model Health Centre, had been abandoned. RMF helped reopen, improve, and support the Gure Model Health Centre, providing the only source of accessible health care for a population of over 154,000 in the Baruteen Local Government Area and its surrounding towns. The health center also receives patients who travel to Gure from the Republic of Benin to seek medical treatment.
Until mid-2015, RMF supported the improvement and operation of Gure Model Health Centre, and in October 2016, we shifted our focus to health outreach. We provide free clinics and education sessions primarily for women, children, and the elderly. Through these outreach clinics, RMF aims to reach underserved, vulnerable community members with education, primary health care, maternal, and child health care.
2019 Outreach Program
Free Healthcare Week
The 2019 RMF outreach program started with sensitization activities aimed at bringing awareness to the people of concern about the upcoming Free Health Care Week. The mobilization/sensitization activities began on April 6, 2019.
The program had wide coverage, with beneficiaries from various communities. Through this outreach, RMF provided free healthcare services to the people of Gure and surrounding communities.
557 Patients Receive Care
Free Health Care Week started at Gure Model Health Centre on April 19 and ended on April 23, 2019. The services rendered include maternal and child healthcare services, wound care, HIV testing and counseling, other laboratory services, and more. 557 patients received free healthcare services during the 5-day outreach, and the most commonly treated illness was malaria, with 202 cases.
Recommended Next Steps
Advancing the Reach of Gure Health Centre
In order to meet the increasing needs of the growing population, specifically the demand for health services and need for sustainable service delivery, RMF Nigeria proposes the following next steps in our support of Gure Model Health Centre:
- Provide a water supply to the health center by digging a borehole and installing a water tank and plumbing services.
- Provision of a doctor who will provide healthcare services at a negotiated payment and schedule
Nigeria has the 4th lowest survival rate of children under five out of 191 countries, a child mortality rate of 140 of 1000, and a maternal mortality rate accounting for 10% of the global burden of maternal deaths.
Real Medicine Foundation has partnered with the Kwara State Ministry of Health, The Nigerian Youth Service Corps and Gure Gwassoro Ward Development Committee to support the long abandoned Gure Model Health Center. Situated near the Nigerian/Benin Republic border, the clinic is the only access to healthcare for a population of 154,376 in the Baruteen Local Government area and its surrounding towns. RMF has been funding facility upgrades, providing medicines, medical equipment, and local staff to increase and strengthen its capacity to deliver best practice western medicine and critical maternal child health care services.
- Human capacity building and upgrade of the clinic for better health care delivery
- Provide regular medicines and medical supplies to the clinic
- Provide support to existing medical personnel
- Investigate solar electrical supply
- Borehole for drinking water and water to clinic
- Review urgent needs to increase the quantity of patients treated and quality of treatment
- Prepare larger project quotes for capacity improvement (solar power/ borehole drilling)