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12th Mission to Nigeria

On the 28th of February 2008, a six member team traveled to Abuja in Nigeria. The purpose of the mission was medical attendance of the inhabitants of the town of Mina, in Niger state, north to the capital, the inauguration of a dispensary in the village of She in the same state and furthermore to offer medical services to the people in various provinces of the state of Bauchi, further  to the north. The construction costs of the dispensary had been covered exclusively by Heart Doctors.

On the 29th of February, the team examined and treated sick people in the province Kampala.

A formal inauguration of the dispensary took place in the presence of the emir of the region, government officials from the Ministry of Health and a large crowd of people who were celebrating the presence of a health facility in their region, with music and dances. Following a number of speeches, the building was shown to the representatives of local and government authorities.

The building consists of a large reception and waiting room, three 2 bed wards, doctors and nurses office, examination room, storage and washing room. All equipment was in place, and the dispensary was ready to start functioning. In fact following the celebration festivities, the team started a medical camp in the afternoon, and received large numbers of people with health problems.

The following days, the team offered its medical services to the people in the villages Anguwen, Makaman, Beni and Gini.

On the 5/3 the team moved by road to the state of Bauchi and visited the villages Katsinawa, Kwalagwandi, Liman, Katagum, Dabe, Kangyare, Alkaleri and the district Zongoro near the village Angawa Galadima. Every day large numbers of patients came to be attended.

In the district Zongoro, the local authorities requested from the team to visit a small village in which very poor people with psychological problems lived isolated from the rest of the community. When reached there, we were embarrassed to find a number of young people tightened with chains from the trees. Next to them there were feces and an annoying smell of urine. We got informed that these people suffered of mental illness and there were tightened up for months or even years because of their aggressiveness. The worse was that during the rain season, the area of the village is a swamp and many of the sick may be drowned because of flooding.

The members of the team could not turn their back to this inhuman situation and decided to finance the construction of a building of 22 rooms with specifications of a psychiatric institution, on the condition that local authorities will take the responsibility of providing the personnel for its continuous function. An additional condition was that the building should be ready before the start of rain season in June, and Heart Doctors promised to return for its inauguration.

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