MI FOUNDATION Medical Mission Goals and Global health Impact – AUGUST 2015, NIGERIA
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, but is plagued by poor health infrastructure, low life expectancy and a high under-five mortality rate.
Mezu International Foundation (MI Foundation or MIF), a nonprofit organization, dedicated to humanitarian missions uses a rural community in Imo State, Nigeria to demonstrate the benefits of an integrated multi-specialty short term medical mission in identifying specific health needs in the community, in order to more effectively utilize its available resources.
Overview of the Medical Mission:
MIF through its detailed research data collection during medical missions has determined that socio-economic and cultural factors contribute to prevalence of chronic disease in the rural Nigerian community. Integrated STMM’s conducted by MI Foundation incorporates comprehensive medical screening, detailed vision exams, patient education, and skills training of local professionals. MIF hopes to transition to a community preventive health model and empower indigenes to sustainable health systems.
MIF’s annual medical mission provides free medical services, medication, and health counseling to over 2,000 men, women, and children. Our 2015 medical mission took place from August 4–8 2015. Over 50 volunteer medical and non-medical professionals gave of their time to provide patient care during the medical mission. 15 volunteers came from the United States to participate in the MIF medical mission. Over 2,000 that attended the 4 day mission were fed hearty meals each day by one of the MIF 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. An average of 400 to 600 people attended the mission each day.
Some of the Medical Conditions Seen:
Barriers to Care: In the Population served, MIF identified some barriers to care, including:
- Lack of finances, due to a high rate of unemployment, even amongst college graduates.
- The high cost of health care with 40% of the population living on less than $1 a day; however, an average doctor’s visit for consultation without medical tests costs $200 (Naira 32,000), and a one month supply of an anti-hypertensive medication costs about $50 (Naira 8,000). With a cash based economy, unregulated use of drugs without prescriptions, and no existence of health insurance plans, people self-medicate or languish at home for lack of money for health care. Hospital admission and tests are prepaid prior to provision of services and thus many patients are denied irrespective of the emergency or life-threatening condition they present with.
- Patients generally had a poor understanding or knowledge of their medical condition, but were very willingly to learn about their health and comply with directives given.
SOME OF THE MEDICATIONS DISPENSED!
SOME OF THE SERVICES WE PROVIDED:
2016/17 MIF Future Medical Mission Goals
- Continue a multi-faceted global health model of Education, Research, and Intervention.
- Promote a preventive medical care culture in the community:
- Community Health Education and Training.
- Transition from a medical mission model to a community medical center.
- Target resources to meet specific needs of the community.
- Causes of early onset hypertension, premature blindness from rapidly advancing cataracts, childhood anemia, malnutrition, and early debilitating arthritis.
- Agriculture initiatives (sweet potato, snail and plantain) and mechanized farming to empower economic sustenance and improve health.
- Continue community research initiatives:
- 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 volunteers have come from: 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.
A word to our dedicated MIF Sponsors, Partners and Volunteers:
Mezu International Foundation (MIF) is extremely grateful to the selfless dedication and immense support of all its partners and volunteers who gave generously of medications, medical supplies,financial donations, and their time and efforts to the success of our August 2015 medical mission trip to Imo State, Nigeria.
We are looking forward to our next medical mission being held in Summer 2016 which will be a dedicated MIF Community Outreach and Preventive Medicine Education week.
The goal by 2016 is to transition to a community medical center to serve the community in between medical missions. The MIF Community Center will provide affordable preventive medical care and diagnostic testing, health counselling for the indigenes, and educational/diagnostic skills training for the local health care professionals.
Partners, sponsors and volunteers are welcome to participate in this humanitarian global health effort.
Aqua Vision Care, LLC
Cornerstone Alliance Navigators
EFMC, Hebron Dutse, Abuja, Nigeria
|Europa Eye Wear
Federal University of Technology, School of Optometry, Imo State
Our Lady Queen of Peace School, Madison
Precision Vision Inc
University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison
VSP Mobile Clinics
Ziks’ Pain Pharmacy
Graphical Representation of Research Data from 2014 MIF Medical Mission
MIF Educational & Mission Community Development Activities
Following the 2015 medical mission, MIF visited Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) and received a tour of their new academic facilities, classrooms, and clinics, etc. FUTO 5th year optometry students participate annually in the MIF medical mission. MIF donated ocular medications and supplies to the FUTO School of Optometry to help in the education of their students.
MIF also visited a local orphanage and donated food and school supplies to them. A donation of hundreds of books was delivered to the orphanage courtesy of the 2014-15 second grade Class 2B of Our Lady Queen of Peace School, Madison, WI. All twenty-two 7-8 year olds boys and girls in the second grade class of Queen of Peace School had also written beautiful letters to the children at the orphanage.
August 2015 Free Medical & Humanitarian Mission Gallery