A non-government organisation, ‘When In Need’, in June visited Okitipupa, Ondo State on a medical mission to provide succour for the people. JONATHAN NDA-ISAIAH writes.
On June 30th, ‘When In Need Foundation’ journeyed to Okitipupa, Ondo State on a medical mission in continuation of its relentless commitment to the health and wellness of communities, transforming lives and creating impact for women, children and some of the most vulnerable people in the society.
Led by Dr Chetachi Ecton, the CEO of the organisation, the mission took place at St Mary’s Primary School, Okitipupa and covered the seven districts of the Okitipupa Local Government Area. For Dr Ecton, the goal was to help the indigent people in the community overcome various medical conditions such as malaria, high blood pressure, ulcer, diabetes and typhoid.
Additionally, the goal of the medical mission was to conduct a health advocacy outreach and encourage people to seek immediate medical attention at hospitals for treatment of various medical conditions, provide free outpatient treatment for minor illnesses, dispense free prescribed drugs to patients and offer free screenings for Eyes, Hepatitis, Diabetes, other medical conditions and minor laboratory services.
Inspired to lend a helping hand and give back to the community, the When In Need’s 63-member team comprising of Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Optometrists, Laboratory technicians, translators provided free medical services to over 2,670 patients while 4,430 beneficiaries were recorded for eye examination and eye-related health education for the less privileged.
During the two-day mission, When In Need (WIN) Foundation also donated 10,000 eyeglasses, 50 solar lanterns, walking sticks, foot wears and wheelchairs to the indigenes of the community. Individuals attended the free health lecture conducted by public health experts covering topics such as genital mutilation, prevention of domestic accidents, maintaining personal and environmental hygiene, emergency response to disease outbreaks.
The monarch of the town, the Jegun of Idepe-Okitipupa; Oba Michael Obatuga Adetoye and his high chiefs were also screened of diseases and given free drugs while others with critical conditions were referred to hospitals with WIN Foundation also supporting with payment of medical bills.
The Okitipupa Ondo medical outreach was a resounding success as it benefitted over 7,100 women, children and residents of the local community. Several of the attendees who attended the mission expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the organisation and looked forward to their return again in the very near future.
WIN Foundation, in her drive to ensure more indigent members of the community benefit from this outreach, donated loads of medical aids and equipment to the State Specialist Hospital, Okitipupa to be used free of charge for those in need. Receiving the donation, chief medical director of the State Specialist Hospital, Okitipupa, Dr Ikuemelo Babatunde said, “our people are very poor and this donation is another way of extending the service to others in the community.”
The WIN Foundation had previous carried out similar outreaches in Ideato and Mbaise Imo State, Kardako Nasarawa, Kuje, Abuja and several IDP camps in Abuja.
To be a beneficiary community, a “Need Assessment” is carried out to determine the health conditions and the most pressing challenges of the host community. This ‘needs assessment’ helps WIN to set goals (immediate, short, and long term) and objectives for the mission that meet the needs of the local community and are within the resources of the foundation. Often times, WIN does an initial trip to the community focused on fact finding, organising, and planning to determine what services are going to be provided.
When In Need will then make a determination whether it can meet these needs based on available resources. These services often include public health education, infrastructure strengthening, eye examinations, blood pressure checks, clinical procedures etc.
WIN also works with local clinics or hospitals so that severe medical cases in need of immediate medical attention can be referred immediately.
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