ACHI will like to use this opportunity to thank all our donors for their generosity these past years. Your support has helped so many in need of simple health care in the rural areas of Nigeria. You have helped us to save many lives, prevented or slowed the onset of complications on individuals with diabetes and hypertension. Our goal is to is to eradicate the poverty of knowledge among the rural dwellers, whose knowledge of chronic disease process and management is very limited or not there to begin with. Our message is spreading and we are able to educate as many as our budget can get to at every location. We are embarking on another outreach this year and we are hoping to get more funding and donation from concerned individuals. We cannot do this with your backing and we are thankful for your words of encouragement, financial support and prayers. Our outreach starts in the month of July to August. Our goal is to reach more people this year, and to have more successful stories for our donors.
ACHI's goal of bringing health care and health education closer to the individauls living in poverty in the rural areas of Imo State Nigeria where there is no or lack of access to health care continues. We just concluded our 9th annual health screening in these communities. The stories and discoveries continue to be the same. Each year comes with new addition of newly identified individuals with diabetes and hypertension, who are not properly managed or are unaware of what is going on in their bodies.
This year's mission added more assessment tools to its procedures. With the help of Allina Health System in MN, who donated an Ambulance to the organization, we were able to conduct physical assessments in the areas that we did not have any form of privacy. The oncologist from MN who went us this year identified two women with breast cancer and they were referred appropriately. ACHI saw the need for a referral center for follow-up, collection center for dressing supplies, and diabetic supplies, and we started working on securing a site for this to happen. We secured an old building in one of the villages and started renovating it to be used for these purposes. With the help of Peace Corp Volunteers that were in Nigeria in th 1960's (Friends Of Nigeria-FON), and your donations, and donations from members of Christ Episcopal Church in Woodbury MN, we have been able to reroof the building, put doors and windows. During this concluded mission, we were able to use the rooms for physical exams, consultation and treatment.
There are still work to be done at the site. We need running water, restrooms for staff and patients, security, and furnishing of the laboratory space, tables and chairs for consultation. We are grateful for your genarosity and kindness towards this organization since we strated. We will continue to serve people in need and making more effort to eradicate the poverty of knowledge which is one of the major problems facing the population we serve.
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 who
benefited from them. We gave wheelchair to a man that attends our program every
year, but due to arthritis he was unable to come this year on his own and we
sent someone with a wheelchair to go and bring him to the venue. He was happy
to 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 and
children for all her activities of daily living, was given a walker which made
a huge difference in her dependency. She was able to ambulate with the walker without
support. Many were given four point canes for better support in place of sticks
they were using.
Thanks to Lions club Eyeglasses program for making it possible for many in the villages to enjoy reading their
bibles and other materials again. We also received donations of children’s
vitamins from Americare, and toothpaste and brushes from Patterson Dental this
ACHI medical team went to seven communities this year. Due to the need, the
co-sponsors of three communities requested that ACHI conduct outreach in their
community for two days. A total of about 3461 patients were screened.
There were two outstanding cases we could not turn our
backs on but to help find a solution to their problem. There was a widow with
five children whose husband died two years ago, she brought three of her
children to the center at Mbano (Umugolo village) in Imo State. During
assessment, we discovered that her 15 and 12 year old daughters have type (1) diabetes
with 450 and 290 blood sugars, and she confirmed that she is aware of the
diagnosis. Due to poverty and ignorance, she resorted to treating them with “BITTER
LEAF and UTAZI” ( native vegetables that
are very bitter). ACHI decided to keep
them for three days, teaching about diabetes, diet, insulin therapy and blood
glucose monitoring. Their blood glucose is currently averaging at 120 and 170
respectively. The second case is a man from Umuihi in Ihitte/Uboma local
government of Imo State whose average blood glucose was 500, he was also
started on insulin, supplied with testing equipment, Insulin syringe and both
long acting and short acting insulin. He is also doing well and feeling better.
These families will continue to need our support in sustaining their treatment
and enjoy a better life. There are more people out there looking for help and
support in managing their diabetes. We have limited resources for so many
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.
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