Ocular and Systemic Conditions in a Medical Mission Population in South East Nigeria: Transitioning from Integrated Medical Missions to a Community Medical Center Model
Short term medical missions to developing countries aim to reduce global health disparities, as well as morbidity and mortality from preventable health conditions. Many medical missions provide limited care through surgical, dental or vision only screenings. These limited focus missions, while helpful in a resource-limited rural society are expensive to organize and counterproductive by preventing patients from seeking adequate follow-up for co-existing serious ophthalmic and medical conditions.
There is poor partnership or follow up with local health providers after the mission is completed; and sometimes patients shun local health care follow up awaiting return of foreign medical mission providers, placing a huge financial and economic burden on local doctors dealing with resultant complications of medical and surgical care from well-intentioned medical missions. This study will be an assessment of an integrated multi-specialty medical mission in a rural community in South-Eastern Nigeria that provides not only eye care but complete medical assessments, treatment of acute and chronic systemic medical conditions, and health education.
In this integrated medical mission model, the existence of sight-limiting and systemic medical conditions will be assessed; and factors affecting vision and medical care delivery in the rural community will be determined. Limitations and barriers to the proposed transition from a medical mission to a community medical center model will be determined. The transition to a local community medical center model seeks to provide continuity of vision and medical care, skills education of local health professionals, as well as empowerment of the local indigenes to embrace better health practices, develop local resources, and reduce their health disparities.
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Assess the existence of ocular and systemic conditions in a medical mission population in rural South Eastern Nigeria. Determine barriers to provision of vision and medical care in the rural community. Determine the outcomes and limitations of a new model of integrated, multi-specialty medical mission transitioning to a local community medical center model.
Keyword(s): Health Disparities/Inequities, International Health