Gure Model Health Clinic Upgrade, Baruteen L.G.A, Kwara State Nigeria
November 30, 2009
The Gure clinic, situated near the Nigerian/Benin Republic border, is the only access to healthcare for a population of 154,376 in the Baruteen Local Government area and surrounding towns. Access to healthcare in the region is so scarce, some from the Benin Republic even cross the border to come for treatment. Although the clinic activity varies depending on the weather and access to the health center, on average 80 patients are seen per day.
The goal of phase one of our clinic upgrade is to improve hygiene, function and safety of existing clinic and restore community faith in its operation, so those making the long journey can rely on being treated when they arrive.
Phase one upgrade activities include:
- Provide Medicines and Medical supplies to the clinic
- Clean and paint interior and exterior
- Install Screens on all windows and doors to reduce Malaria risk in wards
- Provide mattresses
- Investigate Solar electrical supply
- Quote Bore Hole for drinking water and water to clinic
Through investment in critical PHC components, medicines, equipment and local staff, we are re-establishing clinic activities at the level of Best Practice, Western Medical Standards and strengthening the delivery of services before we introduce our program modules on a priority basis relevant to the specific needs of the region. It is through this clinic development process that we’ve gained trust and established a partnership within these communities, so our clinics become a long-term springboard for our modular program outreach.
Reflecting this was the offer from the village elders of the community who offered land for RMF to build accommodations for visiting staff to support the clinic. At present there are no accommodations on site and the closest are 5-6hrs away in Ilorin, Kwara State’s capital. This reflects the trust established during our process.
Our support of the clinic health fair earlier this year and commitment to the clinic upgrade, has already restored hope for more comprehensive medical services at the long abandoned Gure Model Health clinic. According to the staff, “the people have taken pride in the clinic and are already enthusiastic about the impact of RMF each time they enter the clinic.” The number of people that now use the clinic daily is steadily increasing and local villagers are coming to have wounds treated and receive medical attention for malaria, respiratory infections and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Also resulting from our commitment to the Gure clinic, The Nigeria Youth Service Corp (NYSC) in Kwara State, along with the Kwara State Ministry of Health, wish to partner with Real Medicine Foundation to leverage the NYSC network of emerging medical staff and other remote health care clinics to deliver much needed healthcare support to the region. The NYSC is responsible for deploying graduating professionals, including physicians, to Nigeria’s remote regions for their final year of service to their country.
One area where RMF’s support will have immediate impact is staffing. Presently exacerbating the clinic’s limitations to serve the community is the lack of year round medical staff due to state budget constraints. Professional medical staff coverage at the clinic is often limited to nine months out of the year, while a Nigerian Youth Service Corp (NYSC) doctor is in residence. This means the community must resort to traditional methods of treatment or going without any health care at all for three months. RMF will ensure the clinic is properly staffed year round to provide the community with reliable access to quality healthcare.
Looking towards the future:
With a vision towards expanding our services, additional meetings were held with national healthcare stakeholders to discuss how RMF may support Nigeria’s Millennium Development Goals Strategies through the clinic in Gure. Child and Maternal Health, MDGs 4 and 5, would be the main focus of RMF activities. These meetings included Mrs. Amina Hajia Amina Mohammed Az-Zubair, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Gede Foundation Founder Jamila Jennifer Abubakar, to discuss how RMF can support their HIV/AIDS orphans programs in Nigeria.
While our phase one activities are underway, RMF is already coordinating phase II to ensure continuity of the upgrade. Planned activities include:
Continued supply medications (fill gaps in supplies from government)
Provision of staffing support to ensure year round medical staff coverage
Supply of additional medical equipment, to be determined
Obtaining quotations on building accommodation room at the clinic
Coordinate Bore Hole Drilling/Solar Electricity installation
Procurement and installation of a Repeater to improve GSM signal strength within the Hospital
Assessment of Maternal and Child Health Care/ Midwifery needs and outreach programs
Introduce the Homeopathic Malaria Treatment Support, HIV/AIDS outreach to reduced patient load
Staff Training – consideration of continuing education support
The present state of the delivery room and maternity ward, as well as the medicine stores for a surrounding community of 150,000 provide a glimpse of the necessity of our support.