Nigeria: Healthcare Project, Gure
Health Outreach Aids 823 Patients: July 9–13, 2018
September 06, 2018
Dr. Ufuoma Ejughemre and Deanna Boulard
Summary of Activities
Since 2006, Real Medicine Foundation, 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, has been 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 2006, 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.
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.
Health Outreach Implementation
The 6-week health workers’ strike, which had crippled hospitals and clinics across Nigeria, ended in early June 2018. RMF was therefore able to schedule our health outreach in Gure for July 9–13, 2018. Through this outreach, RMF provided free healthcare services to the people of Gure and surrounding communities in partnership with the staff of Gure Model Health Centre.
Aiding a Community
The program started with the sensitization and mobilization of various communities, including Gure and the neighboring settlements of Sinaguru, Sanre, Yanrin, Kosubosu, and Gwassoro, to ensure community participation. 823 patients received free healthcare services during the 5-day outreach, and the most commonly treated illness was malaria, with 441 cases.
Variety of Treatment
- Maternal and child healthcare services
- Wound care
- HIV testing and counseling
- Other laboratory services and more
The outreach was successfully implemented, providing free, high quality healthcare services to the community at a grassroots level and helping to improve the health status of the community through health services delivery and health education.
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)
Click to enlarge
7 years old
Hjarat is a 7-year-old girl who was treated for acute uncomplicated malaria. She was said to have fully recovered before the outreach ended.
12 years old
Abubakar, a 12-year-old boy, receiving treatment for acute exacerbation of gastroesophageal reflux disease. He was said
to have fully recovered six hours after beginning treatment.
Habibat Mohammed, a 33-year-old woman from Gure, giving birth during the outreach. Habibat’s baby receiving neonatal care from RMF Maternal Health Services Coordinator Bisi Olajumoke, who is an experienced nurse and midwife.
During the period of implementation, we experienced a number of challenges:
- No surgeon could attend to provide operations as initially planned.
- Mattresses in the facility are inadequate and worn out.
- There is no borehole to provide an adequate, potable water supply for the health facility.
Recommended Next Steps
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:
- Initiate plans for a visiting doctor on the monthly payroll of RMF, who would reside in the community when available. His or her role would include the performance of minor surgeries.
- Provide a water supply to the health center by digging a borehole and installing a water tank and plumbing services.
- Place at least five of the health center’s staff members on monthly RMF stipends to enhance motivation. Stipends would be based on the number of patients seen.
- Provide some basic hospital equipment, e.g., beds, mattresses, and drip stands.