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32nd Mission NIGERIA

On Tuesday afternoon, the 30th of April 2019, a five-member team of Heart Doctors departed with Egypt Air from Athens to Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, via Cairo, where it spent the night. Next day, the team arrived in Abuja and moved by road to the city of Bida, in Niger State, where it settled at the private home of the Governor of the State as his invited guests.

The main purpose of the mission was to provide free medical services and medication to patients living in remote or isolated settlements. An additional purpose was to inaugurate a rural medical center recently constructed in Niger State the project was financed by friends of Heart Doctors.

The required medicines for the medical camp and milk for malnourished children were brought from Athens by the members of the mission. The Governor of Niger State provided vehicles for the movements of the mission, hospitality and policemen for security.

During the next five days, the team visited the settlements which had been selected by the local authorities, one different settlement per day; after the medical examination and treatment of the sick people visited, the team returned to their residence in Bida where they spent the night. The settlements visited were the following:

Medical examination of patients in Kpayi village, Etsu Tasha ward, Edati Local Government.
Medical examination and treatment of patients at Emiyayako Fembo Village, Etsu Twado Ward, Gbako Local Government

The team was received in the morning by the Emir of Bida, the Royal Highness Alahaji Dr. Yahaya Abubakar Etsu of Nupe, who heads all the Emirs of Niger State. He warmly thanked the team for the twenty years of assistance to various States in Nigeria, offered by the Humanitarian Organization Heart Doctors. Traditional costumes were offered as a gift to the members of the mission.

After the visit to the Emir Palace, the team left for the remote settlement Kowankasa, Tegina Ward, Rafi Local Government (2:30 hours route). There, the official inauguration of the rural medical center took place. That project consists of two nursing care units and one delivery room; it will cover the needs of some 30,000 people of all the villages in the wider area. Present was the Emir of Kagara, named Alahaji Salisu Tanko. Other officials as well as delegations of the Governor of Niger State participated. This clinic was inaugurated essentially 3 days earlier with the first childbirth there. The mother gave birth to triplets of babies she was present in the inauguration with her newly born babies. She approached the team, showed the babies and thanked all of them repeating negode(thank you). The inauguration speeches and "cutting the ribbon" were followed by impressive local traditional dances, which gave everyone great joy.

Medical examination of patients in the village of Goshigi, Badaggi Ward, Kacha Local Government.

Medical examination of patients in the village of Etsu, Tasha Ward, Edati Local Government. The following incident moved everyone. A mother, who had given birth to a baby a few days ago, brought her baby to the team coming on foot from her distant village. The baby had harelip and was dying because the desperate mother could not breastfeed it. The team, using a syringe, managed to give the baby some milk. The baby began to eat and sometime it opened his eyes! The team gave the mother enough milk to feed her baby. A local nurse said that babies with similar problems are doomed to die a few days after their birth because they cannot be fed.

The team left for Abuja and from there it flied to Cairo, where it stayed overnight.

Departure from Cairo and return to Athens.

The main diseases observed were:
Malaria, conjunctivitis, skin diseases, several cases of anemia, and many children with deformation of the lower limbs in the knee with revogonia (possibly due to rachitis or Blound`s disease), hypertension, bronchitis, arthralgia, back pain, dysmenorrhea, fungal infections, gastritis, kala-azar, otitis, helminthiasis, epilepsy, sickle cell anemia, tuberculosis, upper jaw osteosarcoma, burns.

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