Free Health Care for Rural Nigeria

A dentist fits a patient with dentures during a free medical clinic in Erema, Nigeria.

Many who had severe cataract problems are now able to see again. Many who had severe cataract problems are now able to see again.

 Many patients also underwent extensive surgeries in the mobile operating theatre.  Many patients also underwent extensive surgeries in the mobile operating theatre.

Family Care Association Nigeria (FCAN), Lagos, Nigeria

The blind were led into the hospital, filled with great hope for receiving sight through the cataract removals and other eye procedures being offered free-of-charge. Meanwhile, outside multitudes of others with a wide range of other medical needs were organized into long lines.

Family Care Association Nigeria's latest health initiative was underway, involving a team of 68 doctors and logistical staff who gathered for FCAN's Free Health Care Project in Erema, located in the southeast of the country.

Weeks before the project, team members from Family Care Association Nigeria set up the hospital that acted as their staging area, acquiring needed medicines and equipment, coordinating plans with local government and youth groups, sorting out the logistics of transportation, food and accommodations, as well as appealing to medical professionals to donate a week's time as volunteers.

Once underway, early each morning of the medical camp, staff volunteers passed out medical cards to the sick who would then queue to see one of the consulting doctors or pediatricians. After a first consultation, the patient would then be transferred, as need be, to either the dental, optometrist, or ophthalmologist units, or to the operating theatre for general surgery, or directly to the pharmacy to collect prescribed medication.

A counseling room was setup to provide solace to many who had fears, or needed advice, or had health difficulties that couldn’t be treated through medical means.

The dramatic impact in their lives was not only felt by the individual patients, but also by their families and by each volunteer. Blind children now able to see, people unable to afford medical procedures now able to resume normal lives, a fresh beginning for many.

Many patients, too poor to help monetarily, later returned bearing fresh fruit or other small tokens in gratefulness for the care they were given.

For more on Family Care Association Nigeria programs, please click the following link: FCAN