2015 Episode

One week before this great week, ground works have been on like purchase of the drugs/medication for the medical week, sorting of the medical supplies, by Rev. David Olatona and his home team ably led by Dr. Aniete Etuk and supported by Rita Ofoegbu. In expectation of the US medical team, Dr Adetunbi, arrived in Lagos on Sunday May 10 ahead of her colleagues; Rev. Olatona and his team picked her up along Anthony Road on Monday May 11 at about 5 pm and both headed for the airport to receive the other team members who also arrived safely, received well by the protocol team led by Deacon Dele Adewunmi and lodged at Free World International Hotel, Gowon Estate, Ipaja, Lagos. This team of medical personnel from New York included Dr. Joy, Dr. Adetunbi, Dr. Oyinkan, Nurse Uche, Nurse Pat and Nurse Iesha.

Meanwhile, in the medical arena earlier that day, the crowd that thronged the medical venue was overwhelming and it made the event commence earlier than scheduled. The Check stands present were as follows:

  • Height & Weight Measurement check stand

  • Temperature check stand

  • Body Mass Index check stand

  • Blood-glucose level check stand

  • Physicians-medical consultation stand

  • Pharmacists-drug dispensation stand

  • Optometrists / Opticians stand- Dentists stand

According to the statistics report of the thorough medical consultations for the 1st day, Malaria recorded the highest number of occurrence amongst patients that came. This was closely followed by high blood pressure, as cases of arthritis were also handled. Two surgical recommendations/referrals were made for woman with a mass on her throat and a two (2) year old child who could only breathe through the nostrils.

Consultation ended by 8pm beyond scheduled period and in terms of statistical record, two hundred and seventy three (273) patients were attended to by a team of three (3) doctors, six (6) nurses and two (2) pharmacists with over twenty (20) volunteers helping to coordinate the event.

Picking up the medical team from New York
Picking up the medical team from New York
Sorting medical supplies
Sorting medical supplies
Attending to the crowd from Day One!
Attending to the crowd from Day One!

Tuesday May 12 was glorious day as the Medical Team set out to two Primary Health Care Centres, namely Ayobo-Ipaja Primary Health Care Centre and Rauf Aregbesola Flagship Primary Health Care Centre.

At the Ayobo-Ipaja Primary Health Care Centre, the team went on a tour round that centre after being honourably received by the Medical of Health (MOH) Dr. Oyewole and also being informed by her that the centre specializes mostly on deliveries, cervical screening, family planning, immunization.

At the maternity and delivery units, it was revealed that approximately 7 deliveries were taken monthly with a pediatric mortality rate at fourteen percent (14%). Challenges in these units include grounded Ambulance, epileptic power supply, unclean environs and limited space as the centre has just five (5) beds with eight (8) doctors, ten (10) nurses and a couple of volunteers.

Dr. Joy Howell asked of the centre’s awareness of the programme called “Helping Babies Breathe”, to which the MOH confirmed that a few of her nurses have been trained on it at State’s Tertiary Health care centre at Ikeja.

Other units visited were the Pharmacy, Waiting Room, the Dental and Optometry units, and the Vital Science Unit/ Consulting Room. It was disclosed to the team here that the common cases diagnosed are flu, fever, aches, stooling, vomiting, malaria, gastric crisis and special ante-natal issues. The leader of our medical team, Dr.Joy assured the centre that they would come with dental and optometry supplies on their next medical mission trip.

At the Family Planning Unit, it was reported that about thirty (30) people come in per day and pills, injections, condoms are given. Screenings for Breast, cervical cancer are available and free HIV tests are also performed with issuance of free medication for pregnant and nursing mothers.

While at the Immunization Unit of the Ayobo-Ipaja Primary Health Care Centre, it was affirmed that HIV tests are conducted using strips and the unit gives free vaccines; though patients pay for the gloves and masks being used by the health workers. Dr. Joy donated some gloves, swab sticks, gowns and masks to the centre as a freewill medical gesture.

The team at the Ayobo-Ipaja Primary Health Care Centre
The team at the Ayobo-Ipaja Primary Health Care Centre

On arrival at the Rauf Aregbesola Flagship Primary Health Care Centre, the team was welcomed by a few chief health officers, Mrs. Oyasanya and Mrs. Aroyegun who collectively took the team round the centre’s different units. This centre was better equipped than all other health centre in the axis and does not conduct surgeries. Referrals are always made for all surgical-related cases to secondary health centres.

At the Immunisation Ward, the visiting team was told that immunization is free for all vaccines including the vaccines for measles, yellow fever etc and it gives periodic health talk on nuggets childcare, but the mothers pay for the gloves used by the health workers.

At the Palpation and Labour Room, about thirty (30) to fifty (50) deliveries per month are always taken and in the past eight months, mortality rate is zero. The “Helping Babies Breathe” programme is new to the centre with no supplies to resuscitate babies.

Family Planning & Cancer Screening for Female Unit, takes care of HIV related issues with free refills of vaccines. On the Post-Natal Care Ward, CNO Aroyegun informed the team that mothers and new-borns are discharged 24 hours after deliveries. A quick look at the Medical Records Room and the DOT Section Clinic, which runs every day was done and one of the monitoring officers of the hospital, Honourable Lawal, joined the team to explain the “Flagship” attachment to the centre as it was upgraded above a primary health care centre; it was also reported that the centre has two (2) functioning ambulances.

The team at the Rauf Aregbesola Flagship Primary Health Care Centre
The team at the Rauf Aregbesola Flagship Primary Health Care Centre

Concurrently, at the medical arena, work was ongoing with six (6) nurses, two (2) corps doctors from NYSC, 2 in-house doctors, pharmacists and over twenty (20) Tee-shirt branded volunteers before our US medical team joined in to complement the consultations. The team was augmented with Dr. Bose and Patrick Akamiakhor.

Three hundred (300) people were attended to on the second day, which typifies an increase when compared to the number that was attended to on the first. As regard disease occurrence, Malaria was still the illness with the highest frequency of occurrence as par diagnosis followed by high blood pressure and diabetes. There was also an increase in the number of arthritis patients too. Referrals were made for patients who need to see specialists as well as some whose case require outright surgery. The opticians’ stand was also functional with available two (2) practitioners on duty to attend to those that had eye- related health conditions.

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In line with the schedule for the third day, Wednesday May 13, 2015, the team left for Randle General Hospital (Maternal & Child Care Centre), Gbaja, Surulere-Lagos at 10 am, and was warmly received by Dr. Mustapha, the hospital’s pediatrician at 11: 58 am, who took them to the PED Consulting Room; a free healthcare unit for children courtesy of the government.

Getting to the Emergency Observation Ward, which has two (2) sections for mothers and children, the children and mothers are placed under vivid observation for twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours before being transferred to the general wards.

In terms of medical cases, Dr. Mustapha said the major ailments they combat are: high fever, cough, vomiting, pneumonia and severe malaria. While diarrhoea and pneumonia are the commonest causes of mortality recorded at this unit. Confirming that asthma cases are now frequent as a result of air pollution, children are therefore sensitized early as a mitigating measure. Anaemic heart failure and respiratory related cases are not so frequent. Ambulances are available for emergencies and caesarean sections are conducted at the hospital. Sometimes, up to ten (10) to twelve (12) caesarean sections are executed in a day while about thirty (30) C/S deliveries taken in a month.

At the General Paediatric Ward, children from one (1) month to twelve (12) years old are admitted in this ward. Prompt medications are administered to children suffering from seizure disorders or otherwise referred to the teaching hospital LASUTH if necessary.

Supplies and salaries of the hospital staff are funded by the government; bed spaces are allocated free, drugs in the hospital stock are also given for free to children only while some of the tests are equally conducted free.

The team visiting Randle General Hospital (Maternal & Child Care Centre)
The team visiting Randle General Hospital (Maternal & Child Care Centre)

Traffic congestion could not afford the team to visit Massey Street Children’s Hospital this day.

The day started at the medical arena with a massive crowd already waiting at the registration point by 9 am, the overflow was full to capacity. Medical personnel and volunteers were also available to do their part. Registration started by 11 am and by noon, the event got into full swing as the patients had to follow the protocol of checking their height & weight, their temperature, blood pressure and pulse, their waist size as well as the calculation of their BMI (Body Mass Index), their blood-glucose level status respectively before seeing their assigned doctor for consultation.

Two (2) opticians were also in their section to do free eye tests for the people, recommending the collection of glasses to some patients at a highly subsidized rate. Additionally, there was a dentist present to check on the dental health of the people. Worthy of note is that the crowd on this 3rd day was the most organised so far in terms of maturity, patience and conduct with minimum supervision. Three hundred and thirty (330) patients were thoroughly attended to by eight (8) doctors including a dentist, four (4) pharmacists, five (5) nurses, two (2) opticians and thirty (30) non-medical volunteers.

Some health officers, from one of the previously visited healthcare centres, picking up some of the free medical supplies
Some health officers, from one of the previously visited healthcare centres, picking up some of the free medical supplies

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The fourth day of the medical week, Thursday May 14, was not an exception as the experience was just like the previous days; the venue was already teeming with a crowd, hours before the event was scheduled to begin.

Registration started by 10 am and by 11 am, the medical consultants were seated to start attending to people. The medical team made up of different competent professionals were also on ground to deliver expertise services with a heart of passion and commitment driven by Godly love.

In the absence of no scheduled field trip for this fourth day, our vibrant US medical team was dutifully available; working and attending zealously to the people that seemed to be trooping in their numbers. In the same vein, two (2) opticians were present to perform eye screening tests as required and needful.

The work went on seamlessly with every stakeholder putting all their efforts in making sure nothing went amiss. All supervising officer handling each holding point test area was diligent and the thirty (30) commendable volunteers were very much up to the task.

In as much that the daily closing time for the event was slated for 7pm; the last patient was attended to by 9 pm and that was two (2) hours of extra sacrifice from the team before the day’s proceedings were brought to a halt accordingly.

Statistically, a total of four hundred and sixty (460) people were profiled and every activities of the day simply record breaking.

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On this final day, Friday the 15th day of May, at about 6:35 am, the team of medical consultants left for Massey Street Children’s Hospital arriving at 9 am. They were received by Nurse Theresa Ewaleifoh; and taken round the hospital by Dr. Imam, as they awaited the arrival of the medical director, Dr. Emokpae. They visited the out-born unit and were informed that 300-500 babies are admitted there in a year with a mortality rate of 13%. The in-born unit is at the Lagos Maternity Hospital. The Medical Director later took the team to the “A” Ward for babies with severe infections. They also visited the “C” and “D” Wards. Children up to 18 years are admitted in the hospital. Only special cases like HIV and measles are separated. Finally, they visited the “G” Ward for HIV which had eight beds and an HIV specialist. The team then donated some medical supplies to the hospital before leaving by 10:35 am.

The team visiting Massey Street Children’s Hospital
The team visiting Massey Street Children’s Hospital

The team arrived next at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) by 11:19 am; and went straight to the department of Paediatrics. Prof. A. O. Akinsulie (Ag. Head of Department) received them. He gave them detailed information about the five wards in the department including the oncology, emergency, out-born and in-born units. He then gave them tour of the department. The team then headed for the medical consultation arena where the free health week programme was to climax.

The team visiting Lagos University Teaching Hospital
The team visiting Lagos University Teaching Hospital

Back at the Medical arena, this was the grand-finale of the Medical Week 2015. A small crowd was gathered at the gate as early as 6:30 am for registration at 10am. Even the Senior Pastor, Rev. David Olatona, helped to organise the crowd and maintain general order. The presence of the international medical crew added global scope, and attraction to this year’s health week. In order to ensure that everybody was attended to, every member of the health week team worked patiently without rest till 10pm. Four hundred and ten (410) people were attended to on this last day. Available were seven (7) doctors, eight (8) nurses, two (2) pharmacists and thirty-two (32) volunteers working tirelessly and compassionately to make a life changing impact.

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In all aspects Medical Week 2015 made a quantum leap. We are looking forward to 2016 with great expectation. Shalom.


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