HEAL offers free medical care to Makoko community

HEAL offers free medical care to Makoko community

No fewer than 150 residents of Makoko, a slum located in the Yaba area of Lagos, recently received free medical care and relevant drugs, thanks to as a non-governmental organization, Health Empowerment African Initiative, (HEAI)

In a two-day medical outreach to the waterfront community with a population of over 100, 000 populations, residents were checked for ailments like hepatitis, human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, sugar level, blood pressure among others.

Speaking at the event, the coordinator of the NGO, Mr. Uzoma Ezechukwu was worried that the rate of people suffering from hepatitis B was so high and they didn’t even know about it in the community. 

“Almost all of them are having hepatitis B and for the children, it is skin rashes and malaria,” he said.

Ezechukwu  attributed the cause to dirty environment. He also noted that the HIV rate in the area is very low whereas almost all the pregnant women tested had very high blood pressure.

A Makoko resident

Explaining the choice of Makoko, he said the reason was to offer back to humanity especially since there’s no medical care in the community.

In the same vein, Medical & Strategy Director of the NGO, Dr. Uzo Abakporo, noted that the two-day event highlighted a deep need faced by this community and many like it. 

He said: “There’s a high burden of both infectious and non-communicable diseases here. Their environment plays a major role in contributing to these issues due to lack of basic amenities and services like clean water and a sanitary environment. 

“At HEAI, and through the SlumDoc initiative, we aim to foster deep partnerships with communities like this and contribute to Improving access to health and other services to aid them in improving their quality of life. This will in turn contribute to broader societal gains,” Abakporo added.

Also, the founder of the NGO, Dr. Joy Abakporo said: ” I founded HEAI to improve the capacity of Africans to take full responsibility for their health through improving education, awareness, and literacy especially.

“Overtime, we are creating different initiatives that focus on specific areas of the broader system that has an impact on the individual and population health”. 

Appreciating the gesture, the community head, Baale Emmanuel Shemede, said they were so excited about the medical aid.

He said: “This is one of the things we have been looking forward to. The last time we had something like this was about eight years ago.

Shemede, therefore, called on the state government to come to their aid by establishing a hospital in their community.

“We have a clinic and maternity home but there’s no hospital. We want the government to give us a hospital here, we will be very grateful.

“After that, they can give us a school. We have one primary school and there are a lot of children at home that want to go to school but the school cannot accommodate them,” Shemede pleaded.

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