Thursday, February 28, 2013

A hunger for access to free medical services #IRP13

This week, I was tested in a different way. Actually, I went nosing around for news relating to the ongoing Eko Free Health Mission Programme in Ayobo area of Lagos. The crowd, massive crowd, I saw in this community sure exceeded what I expected to see. From interacting with a few of the community people and interviewing others, I saw first hand how much people really yearn for medical services. Well, I hope corporate organizations and investors will see this as an opportunity to broaden their CSR outreach. Don't leave everything to the government.

I know, I started this post with being tested. I'll tell you how.

So I was collecting a few pictures to use as a photo essay for a report I was going to submit for GPI. When I got to the nutrition stand, I saw a little boy, the image like ones we see in western media. Those types that will leave you mouth agape... that usually get some of us asking where do all these journalists get these terrifying images from. To learn first-hand that there are real images of malnourished children right here in a land of plenty left me with a depressing feeling. I sighed and took the picture.

But a man walked up to me and said not to use the picture for any news report. That is not the kind of story you should be telling, he said. I sighed. The mother of the child smiled. Actually, the man told the woman to lay a curse on me if I ever use the video footage or images. :-) Scaring things you hear when covering news. But anyway, my conscience took the better of me. I asked the mother if she mind me telling her story. She said no. But said I should not use her video or pictures of her child, even though it was just a back-view of the child. Yes, yes, ethic of the profession expect us not to use such anyway.

So here are some of the images I took, to tell you the story of a community that benefitted from a recent outreach aimed at bringing medical services to the grassroots. The people asked for more of such programmes. The organizers say the purpose is to point the grassroots to the existence of Primary Healthcare centres in their communities. It cannot be an everyday affair. Or can it not?

Enough of my stories. Let the pictures speak!

At the entrance to the stadium called "Ipaja Mini Stadium" but the community people say they know it as "Stadium Fela"

Some residents of Ayobo-Ipaja community waiting for their turn to enter the stadium

Medical team at the drug collection stand

Pregnant women waiting at the antenatal care department

Drug collection center

The nutrition stand

Blindness prevention programme

Dental clinic was also very active at the programme

Mothers being trained on nutrition and healthy living

Residents take turns to see the doctors, depending on what medical service they seek

Mrs Adebayo at the medication unit to collect her drugs after the doctor prescribed them

Mr Moses brought his daughter for check-up
Waiting for their turn
Dr Amire attending to some patients at the Outpatient unit
For more information on day 2 coverage, click here


Note: This report was gathered on the second day of the exercise. It does not represent the full details of the programme.

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