MEDICAL OUTREACH TO OKENE, KOGI STATE, 2011.
MarkAnumah Medical Missions (MAMMS) carried out a successful medical outreach in Okene General Hospital, ( a zonal hospital) in kogi state from the 31st of October to the 4th of November 2011.
MAMMS is a non-governmental organisation launched a little over a year ago, in memorial of Dr. Mark Anthony Anumah a pediatric surgeon who died on the 9th of September 2009. The objective of MAMMS is to fulfill Mark Anumah’s dream and passion for the provision of quality and specialist healthcare for poor (voiceless and the faceless) Nigerians.
The Chairperson of MAMMS: Dr. Felicia Anumah, an Associate. Professor of Endocrinology, led a team of 34 volunteers including 10 physicians, 10 surgeons, 3 Pharmacists, 2 nurses, 3 counsellors, 1 dietician and 5 welfare team members to join the resident Staff of the Hospital to carry out a medical outreach that spanned over five days.On arrival in okene on the 30th of October, the team had a visit to the Ohinoyi’s palace, His royal Majesty, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, who received us with joy and gave us his royal blessing.
On the 31st, we had a short opening ceremony with the deputy governor, His Excellency Philip Salawu, the Commissioner of health Dr D.S Onuminya and the Commissioner of environment Arc. Mohammed Sule in attendance. Also present were Rev Fr. George Ehusani and Dr. Tom Adaba members of the Board of Trustees of the Medical missions.
The volunteer doctors, nurses and pharmacists went into action immediately after the opening ceremony and they worked everyday from 8.00am to 7.00pm. In the five working days, the Physicians were able to attend to 1041 diabetics and hypertensives, the Surgeons and the Gynecologists performed various surgeries on 83 patients including prostratectectomies, thyroidectomies, herniotomies for children, herniorraphies, myomectomies, vaginal wall repairs, ceaserian sections e.t.c. The dental surgeon amongst us attended to 90 patients and performed procedures on 40 of them including tooth extractions, removal of cysts etc. The only pediatrician in our midst treated 45 children with various ailments. On the whole the team attended to 1259 patients and 10209 prescriptions were filled in free of charge.
Among the Pharmaceutical companies that donated drugs for the missions including: Novartis, Sanofi-aventis, May and Baker(M&B), Biofem, Zoomota, Novo-nordisk and Apple pharma. We had three pharmacists who worked tirelessly to supply prescribed drugs to the teeming patients; the genuine and free medication on the spot for the patients made them very happy.
Perhaps the most spectacular case among the beneficiaries of the outreach programme is a 60 year old man with an enlarged prostate gland. He had been travelling from Okene to Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria in Kaduna state to see if he could be operated upon for the past 3months but was yet to secure an appointment . Luckily he had prostatectomy done in okene his home, free of charge including medication.
There were challenges we faced such as inadequate facilities to work with in the consulting rooms, the theatre and the wards but we improvised, purchased some items: it was not easy but we got the job done!!!.
One thing that is worrisome during the outreach is the high prevalence of diabetes and hypertension discovered in this medical mission. We had patients working around with Blood Pressures of 230/140mmHg, Blood sugar level of 725mg/dl. A programme to enlighten our people on behavioral changes to prevent non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension, the causes and their deadly complications if not properly managed will be a good start. However, a lot more needs to be done in the areas of training of medical personnel, the supply of basic necessary equipments, procurement and timely distribution of drugs to appropriate hospitals and clinics.
MAMMS is grateful to God Almighty the originator of the Missions and to the volunteers who worked joyfully and tirelessly throughout the duration of the outreach. The entire team is grateful to all our partners and donors who contributed generously to make this medical outreach a huge success. We are also grateful to the local organizing committee in Okene General Hospital, the CMD of the Hospital, Dr. Abdulsalami Abdulkadir. Finally we want to thank the Executive Governer of Kogi state Alhaji Ibrahim Idris who paid a personal visit on the third day, the commissioner of environment, Arch. Mohammed Sule who assisted us in overcoming the enormous challenges along the way, without which the aim of the outreach would have been very difficult to achieve.