In a remote community of Nigeria, 500 people gather outside a medical clinic. They heard the extraordinary news that the facility has received supplies and they have come with the hope of finally receiving the care they need desperately.
A team from the Nigerian organization Peace House – 13 indigenous medical personnel and Canadian physician Dr. Martin Reedyk – has taken over the clinic for two weeks, bringing medicine and medical supplies from HPIC with them.
“We saw many children with undiagnosed HIV/AIDS, malaria and worms,” reports Reedyk. “Diabetes was quite common. We also treated many pneumonias, liver failure, degenerative illnesses, depression, anxiety and other illnesses. Very few patients had minor complaints.”
Five doctors treated 300 patients and 25 people were scheduled for surgery on the first day. After the initial overwhelming turnout, the team began conducting triage by going out around midnight to see the people who were waiting outside, assuming that those who slept outside the facility overnight were the most needy.
The operating theatre was quickly made functional for the repair of hernias and hydrocoeles (swelling of testicles due to chronic infection from mosquito-borne diseases). According to Reedyk, people in the area were too poor to go to the hospital in town, and their conditions were preventing them from farming and providing for their families.
The team was able to successfully perform almost 100 surgeries on patients who had no other treatment option.
Approximately 3,000 patients were seen and treated over the two-week period of the clinic. Reedyk writes, “We thank Health Partners International of Canada for their generous supply of medications that allowed us to treat all patients completely free.
“It was a great privilege to participate as the only expatriate with such a self-sacrificing dedicated team of Nigerians.”