TSDF Organizes Medical Outreach in Abuja, Nigeria

The Stone Development Foundation organized a medical outreach/program in Abuja. The event took place at The Stone Parks and Gardens, Wuye District, Abuja Metropolis FCT, Abuja. It was an annual event that has been taken place for the past four years.

The scope of the annual medical outreach is an outpatient type of primary health care service during which patients gather along a care line where data capture, medical consultation and examinations are carried out. This is followed up with spiritual counseling, drugs administration and, if required, referral to a secondary health centre. Finally, a welfare stops where food items, clothing, shoes and other sundry household items are given out free of charge without discrimination or prejudice. Blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring were also done. Malaria parasite, HIV tests, Dental and optometric consultations were also conducted. Free eyeglasses were given out.

The event takes place in November of every year since 2013, except in 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The target population and primary beneficiaries of the activity are the inhabitants of the Ruga Community, a sprawling slum, which is a 10 minutes drive from Wuye. Members of the immediate neighbourhood in Wuye District were also invited. An average number of 250 persons have been treated on a yearly basis. The event took place on the premises of The Stone Parks and Gardens, owned by The Stone Church Abuja.

The focus of this activity is to provide free medical services, free consultations, as well as free medicines and eyeglasses including free laboratory tests.

The outcome of this activity was mainly for the identification of chronic, treatable non-communicable diseases; identification of at-risk pregnancies with subsequent registration for antenatal care and reduction in maternal morbidity/mortality rates as well as infant perinatal mortality rate. Provision of food for needy homes and clothes for needy persons was also done.

The programme has been sustained for some years now. The beneficiaries look forward to it every year and much less publicity is required to get this done. In view of the above, it is normal for the beneficiaries to arrive well ahead of the service providers on designated days of the program.

One of the key observations from this exercise is that a significant percentage of the population has no access to quality medical care. Lack of funds and low earning power also serves as a deterrent to the health-seeking behaviour of the target population. The primary health care organ of the national health policy of Nigeria has a long way to go in order to achieve her stated national goals, and to this end, efforts of this nature will help to cushion some deleterious health effects in the community.