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Missions

26th Mission NIGERIA

On the 11th of March 2017, a five member team of Heart Doctors traveled to the city of Kano in north Nigeria through Cairo. The purpose of the mission was the medical care of populations in remote areas of the States Kaduna and Niger, Nigeria.

 

At the airport of Kano, the team encountered difficulties passing the load of medicines through the State drug administration officials, apparently because these authorities had not been informed in time about this mission by the central administration of the ministry of health in Abuja. The matter was settled when the persons responsible received a sample of a few boxes of pain reliever for examination or other purposes. The representative of the local government who welcomed the team at the airport did not help. The team was then driven in a small van with military escorts to Kaduna and reached after a three hour drive a decent hotel for accommodation for the following five days. A health commissioner of the local health ministry came to welcome Heart Doctors.

 

On the 13th of March in the morning, following a quick visit to the ministry of health, we were informed about the program of the visit. For the 13th, 14th and 15th,of March the regional general hospital in Rigasa was chosen for the team to examine and provide treatment to the people of a large district, with the help of doctors and nurses. For three days, large numbers of people already informed about our presence came for consultation. The help of an assistant, performing the test for malaria free of charge, has been greatly appreciated, so that we could provide treatment only to those with a positive test. Frequent health problems were malaria, epigastric pains labelled by the patients themselves as ulcer, hypertension, low back pain, infections of the respiratory and urogenital tract, and a complaint that the patients referred to as typhoid. It was noted that several persons who came for consultation because of persisting fever, and a positive test, had been treated in the recent past with medicines purchased from pharmacies in the market.

 

The second day, the local Emir came for an official visit to the team and was found to suffer of malaria.

 

On the 16th and 17thof March, the team worked in a recently constructed medical centre, close to a nearby old hospital in another district of Kaduna state. Among the people who came for consultation there was a 6-7 years old boy with a huge spleen filling his entire abdomen, for three years. He has been diagnosed by the local physicians as tropical splenomegaly, but with unknown aetiology and did not receive any treatment. It was suggested to the doctor to check for leismaniasis and if confirmed to be sent to a teaching hospital for specific treatment.

 

Before leaving we informed the health commissioner of Kaduna about our impressions on the health problems in this State, namely the connection of hypertension to the consumption of salt, magi and dry fish and of ulcer with pepper and chilly, facts that are not stressed to the people by the medical staff.

 

On the 18th of March, the team moved to the city of Kontagora in Niger state, escorted by members of the local government and a security car with armed militarists driven by a so-called pilot driver trained to open ways. After a five hours drive, the team reached a compound of luxurious villas, owned by the local governor, for accommodation during our stay.

 

On the 19thof March , following the necessary visit to the local traditional Emir, the plan was to work in the village Ibanga, a distance of an hour drive from Kontagora. The consultation was planed to take place under the shade of a huge mango tree. Nurses were there for help. Large crowds of sick people came with most frequent health problem malaria with severe anaemia, especially of the young children and febrile gastroenteritis. These problems were connected to a nearby river, which was used as a source of drinking water by all inhabitants of the region.

 

The team considered the financial support of the construction of a borehole in the future.

 

On the 20th of March, the team attended populations in Auna Center of the city of Balugu in Magama district, on the 21st of March in the town Barumi and on the 22nd of March in the district Farin Shinge. On this day, after the completion of the work, the members of the team returned to Kaduna to spend the night and on the 23rd of March in the morning they were escorted to Kano by the staff of the local government and police.

 

Heart Doctors are very thankful to this staff and to all those officials who contributed to this very successful mission, especially for the cooperation of doctors and nurses.

 
 
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