On 10th December, members and volunteers of Doctors Health Initiative once again reached out to the *IDPs that live in the **Eleko beach area. It was a great experience. On arrival we saw a long queue of women waiting to be seen by the team from St. Kizito Hospital who partnered with DHI to provide gynaecological care to the women. The women were all smiling and did not mind the heat nor the slightly lengthy wait. Looking around I saw a good number of the children looking with anticipation at the volunteers. Tolu gathered them and taught them some games. Soon the venue was ringing with the high pitch laughter of excited children at play. Watching the children play with so much excitement as if there was no tomorrow was an unforgettable experience.
Soon our own doctors were all settled and ready to start seeing patients. Dr. Erere Otrofanowei, consultant Dermatologist and Dr. Ugwu, paediatircian were greatly in high demand. Mothers and children all seeking medical attention crowded their tables. We were hard put to maintain order. Thanks to Dr. Erere’s strategic input we achieved some order and calm. Our nurses Osariemwen, Gloria and Patrick were a big help in maintaining order. The Pharmacy was manned by Sharon, Patrick and Cynthia. And of course not forgetting the help of Francisca, Chisom, Nwanneka and Ginika who helped to oversee the weight and height measurements and taking pictures.
The climax of the outreach came with the handing over of bags of rice to each family. A couple (who wishes to remain anonymous) and their friends had donated these bags of rice in the spirit of Christmas. The faces of the IDPs were a joy to behold. They lined up again in order to collect the bags of rice being handed over family by family. Every family received at least a bag of rice.
As we were departing, Mr. Mustafa and a group of the men who make up the community followed us to our bus and thanked us wholeheartedly. They prayed and asked for God’s blessings on us all. Dr. Erere thanked them on behalf of ***DHI and for trusting us enough to allow us into their community. She encouraged them to look for sustainable ways of generating income especially for the women and mothers.
Helping women know more about themselves and ways to stay healthy, experiencing the friendly atmosphere in which they coexist, but most of all not forgetting the happiness that showed and their words of appreciation as a result of our efforts. I feel that a whole lot was gained from this outreach
Written by Chisom Ofoma and Nkechi Asogwa
*Internally Displaced Persons
**A beach in Lagos State, Nigeria.
***Doctors Health Initiative