MI FOUNDATION July 2016 Medical Mission, Imo State, NIGERIA
The 2016 MIF medical mission was successfully conducted from July 27th to July 31st at Imo State, Nigeria. MIF’s annual medical mission provides free medical services, medication, and health counseling to over 2,000 men, women, and children. All were fed hearty meals provided by one of the MIF local female membered community development programs, “Our Lady’s Food Kitchen” with rice and beef stew, fried yam and plantain with stew, and water for everyone as they waited to be attended to. Over 50 volunteer medical and non-medical professionals cared for the 2000+ people that attended, some from 200 miles away. In 2016, over 20 of our volunteers came from the United States to participate in the MIF medical mission.
MIF uses the medical outreach as an opportunity to collect research data to better understand the needs of the community, as well as associated socio-economic and cultural factors contributing to disease prevalence in this rural community. In this community, people live on less than a dollar a day, and many families have to make dire choices between seeking health care or feeding their family or sending their children to school. MIF’s annual medical mission relieves this healthcare burden for the community, who appreciate it. The palpable tears of joy in their eyes and hearts are our reward. Our integrated medical mission by MIF incorporates comprehensive medical screening, detailed vision exams, patient education, and skills training of local professionals. MIF successfully transitioned to a community medical center at our medical mission site to continue preventive health care and education in between medical missions. Indigenes can be seen for routine ailments, and have vital checks of blood pressure, blood sugar , hemoglobin and get a detailed exam by an optometrist and medical doctor employed by MIF.
Our MIF research over the past couple years has identified that Cataracts are a major cause of socio-economic burden in the rural community, as they are occurring early in the working population causing visual handicaps. A cataract is the cloudiness of the lens in the eye, which can obscure vision and if not surgically removed when mature, can result in blindness. It is the leading cause of preventable blindness in Africa, a global health concern.
During our 2016 MIF medical mission, the first MIF cataract surgery was successfully performed by our highly skilled MIF ophthalmologists and assisting optometrists. Patients were pre-screened, and given pre-op medications and instructions. Intraocular lenses used during the surgery were donated by Combat Blindness Inc, our MIF partners in the global health fight against preventable blindness. The ages of patients on whom the surgery were performed ranged from 44 to 80 years. All had amazing, heartwarming reactions to being able to see for the first time in years (decades for some) after the surgery. A woman with bilateral blindness was operated on, and post-op the next day after her eye patch was removed asked the first person she saw, a young woman, who she was. “I’m your daughter,” came the overjoyed response as the young woman hugged her screaming , “Mama, you can see!” She had not seen her young teenage daughter in over six years with her eyes. Her daughter had led her by hand to MIF medical mission to be seen and they were overjoyed on being selected for the cataract surgery. This is just one of the heart-warming testimonials as a result of MIF’s gift of sight to this community.
Some Medical Conditions Seen at our 2016 Medical Mission include:
Reflux and Ulcer
Conjunctivitis and Dry Eyes
Headache/Upper Respiratory Illness
Congestive heart Failure
OUR IMPACT IN OUR 2016 MIF MEDICAL MISSION
MIF Future Medical Mission Goals
Continue a multi-faceted Global Health Model of Education, Research, and Intervention
Increase the number of cataract surgeries done in 2017 MIF medical mission.
Increase the number of screened patients who qualify for surgery. A lot of patients needing cataract surgery did not pass the screening due to advanced untreated glaucoma as primary cause of severe loss, hyper-mature cataracts with subluxed lens and atrophied ligaments, uncontrolled severe hypertension refractory to acute treatment making them high risk for surgical complications. MIF will be collaborating with our vision care partners to identify ways to reduce screening failure in patients needing cataract surgery in 2017.
Enhance Community Health Education and Training.
Transition Capacity building in our newly established community medical center.
Continue encouraging a Preventive Medicine culture in the community
Mechanized farming initiatives to empower economic sustenance and improve health.
Provision of an International Global Health experience for US volunteers: MIF US volunteers have come from the following institutions: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine; University of Maryland Pharmacy; Princeton University, NJ; Vanderbilt University, TN .
Our local volunteer healthcare professionals have come from: Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakiliki; Abia State University; Imo State University, Federal Medical Center Owerri; Federal University of Technology School of Optometry; Excellence and Friends Management Care Center Abuja; Medical Centers and academic institutions in Owerri, Aba, Enugu, and Port-Harcourt.
Catholic Medical Missions
Board Brother Brother Foundation
VSP Mobile Eyes
Essilor Vision Foundation
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Pikesville, MD
JM Murray Center
Cortland Regional Medical Center
Dr. Ed McDowell, Indiana Regional Medical Center – Pittsburgh PA
Dr. Daniel DeJarlais, Children’s Dental Center of Madison
Aqua Vision Care, LLC – Pikesville MD
2016 Humanitarian Mission – Nigeria Pictures