From Dec. 26 to Dec. 30th, we had our annual adventure of bringing basic health information and needs to the rural areas of Nigeria has not only revealed the prevalence of the Silent Killer diseases, but also the population affected most and their educational levels. We were in Ogoniland,in Niger Delta part of Nigeria for this screening.
Most of those screened could read and write basic English language, had basic education which in the 1970s to early 1980s was enough to get them jobs. These individuals were in their 30s, 40s and 50s. There were a relatively small number of elderly individuals (median life expectancy in Nigeria is 47 for female and 46 for male).
They had basic education but still had little or no knowledge of what chronic diseases are, prognosis and self management of same. They are poor and few of them had any jobs, some of them have families and aging parents who are also dependent on them for their healthcare needs and so on. Why won't they be stressed, depressed, hypertensive, diabetic when they cannot live up to the expectations of their parents who sold their land to put them through school.
The silent killer is affecting this group of individuals in great numbers. It is an Earthquake, disaster in its own form. These problems cannot be solved by numerous annual medical missions that have no plans for continuity of care, after these individuals are identified. The conditions are chronic, also is the poverty amongst these group of people
For us to make a difference in the lives of these individuals, we need a program that will work on sustaining them after they are identified.
ACHI had the privilege of conducting health screening in Khana/Gokana local government areas, in Rivers State, Nigeria, last month. The numbers were staggering. Out of the 1046 adults screened, 50% of those were Hypertensive, and 13% Diabetic, 75% had malaria. We also saw lots of STDs amongst the young girls, and 200 kids were dewormed during the program.
The stories from these people are not different from their counterparts in other states or local governments. The doctors were overwhelmed with number of people with high blood pressures and impending strokes. Dr. Obinna Nwaneri in his own words said "I have never seen blood pressures this high in my life".
Dr Nwaneri and other health professionals took time off from their families (during this Christmas Holiday season) to volunteer during the outreach program, which was sponsored by Hon. Maurice Pronen, who is a member of the Nigerian National House of Assembly. Hon Pronen heard about ACHI's program and wanted his people to benefit from it.
Hon. Maurice Pronen has agreed to continue with the weekly maintenance program, which includes blood glucose monitoring for the diabetics, blood pressures for the hypertensive, reinforcing education, and weekly medication supply and management by a registered nurse in the community.
We will continue to encourage individuals, organizations, and groups, to go back to where they come from, communities around them, and the rest of the world to make a difference. The world needs help, but third world countries need more help
Since ACHI began conducting medical outreach’s in 2006, we have been able to:
-Increase the number of villages they reach every year.
-Introduce a mobile laboratory.
-Build a team of medical staff that can screen about 400 people in a day.
-Introduce a maintenance program for year round treatment of those diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension.
This year with the support of organizations like Hope for the City who donated wheel chairs, walkers,clutches, canes etc. ACHI was able to put smiles on the faces of those whobenefited from them. We gave wheelchair to a man that attends our program everyyear, but due to arthritis he was unable to come this year on his own and wesent someone with a wheelchair to go and bring him to the venue. He was happyto see us and the wheelchair was left with him to assist him in moving around.Also a woman who had stroke 15 years ago and is dependent on her husband andchildren for all her activities of daily living, was given a walker which madea huge difference in her dependency. She was able to ambulate with the walker withoutsupport. Many were given four point canes for better support in place of sticksthey were using.
Thanks to Lions club Eyeglasses program for making it possible for many in the villages to enjoy reading theirbibles and other materials again. We also received donations of children’svitamins from Americare, and toothpaste and brushes from Patterson Dental thisyear.
ACHI medical team went to seven communities this year. Due to the need, theco-sponsors of three communities requested that ACHI conduct outreach in theircommunity for two days. A total of about 3461 patients were screened.
There were two outstanding cases we could not turn ourbacks on but to help find a solution to their problem. There was a widow withfive children whose husband died two years ago, she brought three of herchildren to the center at Mbano (Umugolo village) in Imo State. Duringassessment, we discovered that her 15 and 12 year old daughters have type (1) diabeteswith 450 and 290 blood sugars, and she confirmed that she is aware of thediagnosis. Due to poverty and ignorance, she resorted to treating them with “BITTERLEAF and UTAZI” ( native vegetables thatare very bitter). ACHI decided to keepthem for three days, teaching about diabetes, diet, insulin therapy and bloodglucose monitoring. Their blood glucose is currently averaging at 120 and 170respectively. The second case is a man from Umuihi in Ihitte/Uboma localgovernment of Imo State whose average blood glucose was 500, he was alsostarted on insulin, supplied with testing equipment, Insulin syringe and bothlong acting and short acting insulin. He is also doing well and feeling better.These families will continue to need our support in sustaining their treatmentand enjoy a better life. There are more people out there looking for help andsupport in managing their diabetes. We have limited resources for so manypeople.
ACHI is in the process of embarking on another medical mission trip to seven villages in Nigeria this Summer. We focused on finding partners who could help us with medical supplies for our mission this year, based on our discoveries during the past screenings. We were able to identify individuals with physical needs, and we directed our search for partners towards that. We were able to secure wheelchairs, canes, walkers and crutches for individuals who has some limitations. These equipments have been shipped to Nigeria, and will be distributed to these individuals. We also received 1600 pairs of eye glasses through our partners, and these will be handed out during our medical outreach this year.
Our goal this year is to increase the number individuals screened at every village from 300 to 400. We would like to see this number increase, and the number of villages screened to continue to increase every year, thereby reducing the number of people that turned down every year. Your continued support is the reason we are still able to go back to provide care these rural dwellers with no or limited access to health care. We due appreciate your support.
ACHI continues to care for the individuals identified during our annual outreaches in the rural areas of Eastern Nigeria. Our maintenance program has really made a difference in the health of those individuals with Diabetes and Hypertension. Our visiting nurse reported good number of people with good glucose control and lowered blood pressures, as a result of the maintenance program we have in place. Also our team left for Namibia to monitor the feeding program and assess the situation there. The number of Ophans served in Namibia has risen from 150 to 350. Also a group will be going to Nigeria in July to conduct health screening and education in 7 villages this year, we will spend two days in three of the villages because of the population and number of cases identified last. We will continue to provide the needed help to individuals with needs, who are unable to take care of their own health need, due to ignorance, and poverty.
We want to use this opportunity to thank our wonderful donors whose financial assistance has helped this organization in make the lives of the villagers we serve worth living .
Achi’s mission of reaching the unreachable , improving the health of rural dwellers one village to the next, helping those identified with chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, to self manage their condition through health screening , health education and maintenance program. In our six years of medical outreach in rural villages of Africa, we have made amazing discoveries about the prevalence of chronic diseases and the high mortality rate among these rural dwellers. We have been able to reduce the mortality rate by 95% of the individuals identified during screening. This was done by educating them on disease process, prevention of complications and self management. Also by making medications and testing materials available to them. There has been a tremendous decrease in the blood glucose and blood pressure levels of these individuals with diabetes and hypertension.
Our goal is to have a central place where these people could go to collect medical supplies for wound care, diabetic test strips and machines, and follow-up laboratory work. The center will be used for classes on chronic disease management and for support groups. We have a building for this for project that needs to be renovated to serve the purpose.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.