DHI Cares

In the morning, I wake up to a roof over my head and food on my table. My parents alive and healthy, my siblings as well.

In the morning, I go to school. A school with good teachers and facilities. I challenge myself because I am in an environment that allows for that. I become a smarter and ultimately better version of myself.

In the morning, I talk to my friends. Happily and healthily, without a care in the world.

In the morning, I am blessed. That’s the truth. I know many of you share my truth.

In the afternoon, I attend some more classes. I go home in a car, fully air-conditioned. I am at home with a roof over my head and food on my table. I do my work on a good table and write with good pens and paper.

In the afternoon, I am blessed. That’s the truth. I know many of you share my truth.

In the evening, I lie down in a bed that does not creek. Pillows beneath my head that not feel like wood. A roof over my head.

In the evening I shut my eyes and finally will myself to imagine a world without my blessings.

I imagine a world where there is no roof over my head, no food on my table and no school to attend.

I imagine a world of hardship, terror, displacement and poverty.

A world that many many people live, even as I dream.


The difference between me and them is that when I wake up, that dream vanishes and is replaced with my reality. When they wake up, however that is their reality.

What great deed have I done to deserve what I have?

Am I better than they are? No. Am I kinder? No. Am I somehow more special? No.

Who am I to pretend not to see their needs?

How can we all sleep peacefully knowing that things aren’t right? We see the little kids and their mothers on the street and what do we do? Nothing.

How do we not loose our appetite knowing that there are kids who are starving?

Tell me, don’t you think that it’s time to do something about it?

Are you just going to sit down and do nothing?

The Doctors Health Initiative (DHI) is one of many voluntary organizations that provides a platform for you and I to do something about it. To reach out! DHI cares!

Maybe the director of this organization can’t change the world. Maybe I can’t change the world. However, I know that we can at least try.

In the words of John F. Kennedy, “One person can change the world. And everyone should try.”



Don’t just sit and home and turn a blind eye. Be a part of something bigger. Make a change. Leave a positive mark on the world.

“Earth has enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed.” -Anne Frank

Most importantly, inspire others to do the same.

Let humanity be our race. Let love be our religion.

Written by Tolulope Olasewere

IDP outreach of DHI with the Preventive Dentistry Department of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)

It was a sun-filled day.

Trainee dentists of the Preventive Dentistry Department of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and volunteers filled the settlement with equipment.

Some members of Doctors Health Initiative ( DHI) were overseeing the project to make sure things started off smoothly. 

The internally displaced women, children and men looked eagerly upon what was being offered. There were kids wailing at their already tired mothers. 

As food was provided, their wails surprisingly began ceasing.

Cheerfully, women began to relax as their teeth were being taken care of by student doctors.

They conversed with their peers and smiled more.

The dentists could not have made any more impacts on these lives.

Work kept on, as more displaced persons came by to register and be attended to. 

It was a success!

 The dental care came to an end successfully and it was all I could inhale in the ambience… a feeling of being cared for from each smile of the displaced members. 

Thank you Preventive Dentistry Department of LUTH!!!

Thank you Doctors Health Initiative!!!

Written by Nkechi Ikoh

-DHI Approved

Who Are We?

Who am I? I’m just a teenage girl with hopes, dreams and aspirations for myself and the world. Just a girl who believes in love, equality and peace. Just a girl with many flaws, yet many strengths. I’m just a girl who has somehow been lucky enough to have an education, clothing on my back, a place to come home to and many other gifts not everyone is blessed with.
Who are they? They are men, women and children ripped from their homes and families. They are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. They mean everything to some yet nothing to others. They have seen, experienced and felt things many of us could never imagine, yet smile like most of us never have. They are people just like everyone, who deserve to love and be loved. They are Internally Displaced Persons, living in camps and praying for a better tomorrow.


Who are we? We are human beings with beating hearts, capable of influencing and changing lives. We are capable of leaping, falling, succeeding, failing, crying, smiling and so much more.


We have the ability to speak up against injustice and help those who need it. When we are capable of so much, why are we doing so little? When we are capable of loving, why do so many of of us choose to hate? When we all have so many gifts to give this world, why do we refuse to? So once again, I ask, who are we? We are who we choose to be, kind or unkind. We can choose to change someone with a smile. We can choose to change someone with a hug. We can choose to change someone with a conversation. We can choose to change and influence someone or multitudes of people by giving our time.


We all have the choice, may we make the right one.

Written by Fatima Musa

-DHI Approved

Throwback To A Little While Ago

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

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Written by Chisom Ofoma  and  Nkechi Asogwa
*Internally Displaced Persons
**A beach in Lagos State, Nigeria.
***Doctors Health Initiative
-DHI Approved

Season’s Greetings

Merry Christmas from everyone at the Doctors Health Initiative.

In the spirit of the season, we have a treat for you all.

Please visit the link below to view it.

Also, we would greatly appreciate it if you tell us what you think by commenting.

We are very grateful for your continuous support.

We hope you have a great day!






Yet Another One

Finally! Six weeks of fundraising through letter writing, social media bombarding, one-on-one soliciting, email campaigning, etc. coupled with a mountain of preparations for materials, refreshments and all manner of logistics was at an end. The day had dawned for *DHI’s dental outreach in conjunction with the Community Dentistry Unit, **LUTH. All for the Internally Displaced People along Ibeju Lekki axis of Lagos State.

Christy and I arrived first and quickly began registering the 30+ women and children already waiting. It was quite amusing to see their confused faces when we explained that we would only be dealing with their teeth that day. This of course was resolved when we reminded them we would be returning on Saturday for the general medical check up.

Inside the treatment area, as minor adjustments were being made to the arrangement of the chairs, a 30-seater bus with College of Medicine, LUTH on it, sped past. That driver was quite confident for someone who had never been in the area we jokingly exclaimed. Calling the doctors who were in another 30-seater bus behind, we found their driver was prudent but had been misled by his okada outrider who had led him in the opposite direction.

Eventually, the comedy of errors was resolved and the 63-man contingent of dentists, dental students and dental nurses, arrived at the outreach venue , disembarked from both buses and quickly set to work. Not long after, the rest of the DHI volunteers arrived to lend a hand. Women were registered along with their children to facilitate history taking and examination of their children and themselves. The men hung back, most perched along the road on their okadas, their new occupations in this land of exile. On getting to the dentists, questionnaires were used to collect data and record findings before each client moved to another section for cleaning and dental treatments.

Working quickly and professionally, the dentists worked steadily for 4 hours, seeing about 140 people in total. A far cry from the 300 people we had been told lived in the community but still a sizeable number of victims torn from their ancestral homes and sources of livelihood. However, their smiles and gratitude for the exercise made all the work worth it.

After pictures were taken and refreshments served, our efficient technical partners raced back to the Mainland, hoping to beat the legendary Lekki traffic at Ajah.

Full of gratitude for the opportunity to serve, our 6-man team bid our brethren goodbye and likewise, journeyed home.

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Written by Dr. Obi Ideh

Contact: obideh@gmail.com

*Doctors Health Initiative

**Lagos University Teaching Hospital

-DHI Approved

About Yesterday

On Thursday the 8th of December, the DHI team visited *Eleko Beach for an outreach programme in partnership with the school of preventive dentistry, LUTH.

Below is a slideshow with pictures from the activity. Many of the **IDPs had never even had dental care before.

Join us and become somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.

We do not need a reason to help people.

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*A beach in Lagos state, Nigeria where some of the IDPs have settled

**Internally Displaced Persons

-DHI Approved

Dear Readers,

As the year winds down, we look back on the many blessings we have received with gratitude. Many of these have come to us by way of our education – a basic human right many of us  have enjoyed without hindrance.
 Our story is like that of many in *Nigeria. Yet, in this same land many are attacked under the guise of protesting against Western education. Many lose and have lost their livelihoods, homes and very lives. The terror unleashed by **Boko Haram on communities is not one we can simply imagine or even put a stop to.

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However, we can stand in solidarity with those who have lost everything out of no fault of theirs.
Doctors Health Initiative is organising  a health outreach for the Internally Displaced People on the 8th and 10th of December.
Be part of this initiative; donate generously to help us share love during this Christmas!
Please check out our ‘About’ page for our account details.
Thank you.
-DHI Approved
*A West African country
**A terrorist group based in Nigeria, particularly Northern Nigeria

Sharing love and bringing hope to IDPs


Doctors Health Initiative (DHI), a not for profit, non-governmental organization made up of medical doctors and other professionals, held a 3 day medical outreach at the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camp in Benin Edo State between the 12th to the 14th of February, 2015. This was done in partnership with Novo Health Africa, a health maintenance organization accredited by the National Health Insurance Scheme with the objective to provide health care delivery solutions across Nigeria and internationally through collaborative partnerships.

The team of about 15 people was led by Dr. Nkechi Asogwa, a medical practitioner and Director of the NGO. The members of the organization and some volunteers including medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and nutritionists, decided to show some love and reach out to about 2,000 inhabitants in the Benin IDP camp comprising mostly of 80 % women and children and 20 % men. The aim was to give humanitarian aid, medical treatment and bring hope to the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency residing in the camp. Most of the ailments were treatable and many of them had worm infestations and most of the children were malnourished. The children in this camp along with the adults, have meager meals and eat only twice a day depending on the availability of food. There are times they eat only once and when there is no food supply, they have no meals at all. The children in this camp are aged 0-12. They do not have a balanced diet most times.

Some well-meaning individuals and companies like the wife of the Edo State governor donate food items for the camp sporadically but this is not enough with so many little mouths to feed.

The team also inspected their kitchen and environs to check the hygiene standards. It was discovered that at the camp, they do not have enough portable water even with three boreholes though only one was functional. When there are power cuts, the bore hole does not work at all. They are dependent on electricity from a nearby village.

Some of the IDPs also had open wounds; some will need psychotherapy as they have had very horrible and traumatic experiences. The people in charge of the camp said that at times the children and women just start crying and some of them just get up and start running and they in the camp have to go after and catch them. Many saw their parents, husbands and sons killed right before them in very horrible ways. Some Neuro-physciathrists had visited the camp and volunteered their services but that was not enough with so many people. Some of the very critical patients were taken away by these volunteer doctors for treatment and then returned to the camp. Some of the very critical patients seen at the camp at the time of DHI outreach were referred to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital hoping they will be attended to. Pastor Solomon Folorunsho who is in charge of the camp said it was very difficult getting funding but that he will source for it so that the very critical patients can be taken care of. Dr. Asogwa hopes and is working towards getting funds from individuals and organizations to assist these people. There was one of the patients seen, a 12-year-old boy, that seemed to have fractured his hip and was in extreme pain. He fell while running away from the terrorists after they have killed his parents. He would be needing urgent attention and immediate surgery without which he may never be able to walk properly again. He could only be treated for pain which was not solving the major problem. There was another case of a young girl of about 10 years who saw her father been killed brutally by the Boko Haram terrorists. She and her mother witnessed their father and husband been flayed and cut. Some women seen could not even narrate their ordeal. When asked about their experiences in order to ascertain their treatment, they just broke down and started weeping.

Another visit to the camp in Benin is planned for June 2016 and the DHI director has also received calls from the IDP camps in Yola where they worked last year calling for help. Last year, DHI under the umbrella of Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH), a coalition of NGOs visited and gave humanitarian aid over a 4-day period to victims of the Boko Haram insurgency at 2 major IDP camps in Yola. The IDPs were attended to medically, given clothes, footwear and most especially a lot of food items.

DHI is grateful to all her volunteers who selflessly gave themselves and their time. They would never forget this humanitarian help to their fellow human beings.

The DHI is only trying to bring help and support to the venerable in our society and is calling on other individuals and organizations to do same and not just pay lip service to the issues on ground concerning fellow Nigerian citizens.

Written by Ms. Bimpe Adebambo

Volunteer, DHI

Some of the pictures of the recent Health outreach are attached.

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My Visit to the IDP Camp: How and Why I Lost My Right To Complain About Anything

The occasion was Easter Monday. I left Lagos about 8am in the company of a friend who shared the same urge to extend the Easter Celebration to any person or group of persons in need. We drove down to Benin to spend some time and exchange a few gifts with the IDPs at the *IDP camp. We returned to Lagos the same day tired but refreshed. I am happy to share my story with you.

So many things motivated my decision to visit these poor victims of Boko Haram insurgency. I was particularly inspired by the generous work some of my friends were doing under the auspices of The Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH). These friends some, doctors and  non-doctors  devoted generous amounts of their time and skills to mobilising resources from anyone and anywhere they could reach, transporting such relief materials to the camps across the country and giving free medical care to the sick amongst the IDPs. I am not a Doctor and knew that I did not have enough time to volunteer. Being almost envious of how full a life these professionals were living, I decided to find a way to do something.

More out of good fortune than hard work, my good intention got a boost almost as soon as it was conceived. A chain of conversations led to someone in Germany mobilizing a truck load of fairly used household and educational materials. Another person volunteered to clear them free of charge. We sorted and earmarked them for different IDPs, motherless babies’ homes and other hospices. We drove down to Benin with an SUV filled with some of the materials and we were happy with ourselves.

At the camp, we were received and cleared to enter the camp with the help of one of the Doctors Health Initiative (DHI) member Doctors who lives and works in Benin. I’d say that getting into the camp was the last moment of excitement on that trip for so many reasons, some of which are below.

·         When we offloaded our materials, they simply disappeared because it was like we dropped a cup of water in the sea.

·         The camp at the time had 2200 (Two Thousand, Two Hundred) inmates and a meal (not a day’s feeding need) was 10-12 bags of rice at the time.

·         We met a number of German nationals helping out because they volunteered, got sponsored and flew down to this country to assist the IDPs with their time and skills.

·         The camp was simply a bush with a few tents and cleared patches. I could not imagine at the time how they’d cope with the rainy season and flood.

·         Several months of deprivation, malnutrition, pain, fear, forced migration and loss to mention a few, meant that as many as were sick did not have the means to buy primary medical care

·         Even when the Doctors were there to offer free consultation and drugs, the sick needed an interpreter to describe their symptoms. In one instance a young girl of about 6 years who must have been receiving excellent education and with a bright future was the interpreter. This little girls didn’t know where her parents were but she was alive and helping others get medical treatment.

·         The boys probably bled a rubber tree, left the rubber to coagulate after which they forced it into a circular shape and a soccer ball was in place. They played football and they were happy.

·         A lot of the kids in the camp had lost their parents and were mapped to foster parents some of who had lost their own children just to create a family setting for the children to develop.

·         Overall, I was stunned by the fact that in the “mess” they lived, they were still capable of happiness which came through in the form of genuine gestures of gratitude and generous doses of infectious smiles.

For most of the drive back to Lagos, I was lost in the contemplation of what I just witnessed.

Seeing how these brethren of ours coped with the circumstances our collective mistakes forced on them, I could not help but recall what Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for meaning. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

Clearly, the IDPs chose to remain happy and that begs the question; what have you chosen today? I urge you to choose to help because as Victor Frankl rightly asserted in the same book, “Being human always points, and is directed, to something, or someone, other than oneself—be it meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter. The more one forgets himself—by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love—the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself. … What is called self-actualization is not an attainable aim at all, for the simple reason that the more one would strive for it, the more he would miss it. In other words, self-actualization is possible only as a side-effect of self-transcendence.” I understand this to mean that it is selflessness that gives meaning to our humanity.

Let us all therefore reach beyond ourselves, transcend ourselves today and become the leaven that will increase our individual and collective humanity. Every tear the IDPs shed at night while we slept is our tear, every pain they bear is our pain. Let us therefore help generously so we can share in every smile they share.

It is for these reasons that I felt that after I left that camp, I lost my rights to complain about anything.

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*IDP: Internally Displaced Person

Written by Mr. Chidi Ileka