Report on Afikpo Medical Mission 2015
The 2015 medical Mission took place at Mater Misericodiae Hospital Afikpo from Monday November 9, 2015 to Friday November 13, 2015. The Mission was carried out in partnership with Pro-Health International of Nigeria. Pro-Health provided the volunteers which included doctors, nurses, lab technicians, dentists and logistics personnel. AOI provided the funds for the Mission’s local volunteers and accommodation for all volunteers.
Two hotels were used for the Mission – Focus Hotel and Ndibe Beach Resort Hotel. Five free rooms were donated to the Mission by Ndibe Hotel and four free rooms were donated by Focus Dotel. David Nwachukwu donated his house which was also used by the volunteers.
Prior to the Mission, Pro-Health sent a volunteer to Mater Hospital to make advance preparations. The volunteer met with the hospital administrators and dealt with the logistics prior to arrival of the team. We also had members of the Rotary Club of Afikpo who helped to disseminate information about the mission. We also had volunteers who went into the villages to announce the Mission. Churches were also used to promote the mission and announcements were made in several churches. Banners announcing the mission were also erected and thanks go out to Mr. Vincent Eleri for the banners.
There were over 60 volunteers involved with this mission and 40 volunteers came from Pro-Health. There were 3 volunteers from the United States – Mr. Vincent Eleri, Mrs. Leticia Ibe and Dr. Victor Egwu. Many of the volunteers were participating in a mission for the first time, but all were committed and gave their best effort throughout the Mission.
The Mission started slowly on Monday because the volunteers from Jos (Plateau State, Nigeria) were unable to get in on Sunday due to a breakdown of their bus. They ended up spending the night in a hotel prior to arriving in Afikpo. On arrival, the volunteers immediately organized and started seeing patients by the afternoon. Because of the late start, we were unable to see a lot of patients the first day. The volunteers, however, demonstrated their dedication to the project by immediately working upon getting off the bus. I salute them for their efforts.
By Tuesday (November 10), the Mission was in full swing with all volunteers present. We immediately saw an increase in the number of patients seen and the number of patients booked for surgery. Patients were seen for hypertension, diabetes, skin rashes, arthritis, malaria, abdominal complaints, malnutrition and surgical problems. Patients were also seen with hernias, hydroceles, uterine fibroids, tumors and orthopedic problems. Many of the patient’s were treated, however, some were referred out since we were not equipped to handle their problems.
Many patients received counselling for various problems to include chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. Others for infant feeding and nursing, pregnancy diet and malaria. HIV testing was also done and all surgical patients were screened. Other pre-op testing was also done. HIV positive patients were counselled and referred out for further testing and treatment. Patients with significant tumors were also referred out for further evaluation and biopsy as needed.
During the week-long Mission, a total of 2105 patients were seen. There were 1257 medical consults and 1317 patients were seen by the pharmacy. 63 surgical cases were performed during the week. 183 dental patients were seen and 150 extractions were done. 109 patients underwent scaling and deep cleaning. Overall, 290 dental procedures were done. Eye care saw 671 patients and 286 glasses were given out. No eye surgeries were done because of lack of funds. A total of 780 labs were done of which 142 were for HIV screening. 6 patients were reactive. This means that 4.2% of those tested were HIV positive.
The 2015 mission accomplished what it was designed to do. Many patients were seen, treated and counselled but many were not seen due to the lack of time and resources. There is a tremendous need for outreach programs like this Mission and we should all continue to work hard towards bringing adequate healthcare to the people of Afikpo. I will use this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that were involved with the Mission. I also thank all the people that donated their time and funds towards the success of this Mission. We look forward to more Missions in the future.
Victor N. Egwu, MD
Chairman, Medical Mission Committee