HEWS Foundation in June 2013, embarked on another outreach to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos. 21 surgeries were carried out with a blend of Cancrun nasails, Benign Jaw Tumour, Cleft Lip and Palate comprising of 6 adults and 15 children who benefitted from the Free Medical Mission.
In line with HEWS Foundation goal of ‘ helping poor people live healthy lives, get good education, decent shelter and gain the power to lift themselves and others out of poverty” notwithstanding the challenges of holding a mission, the necessary machineries were put in place to deliver free health care to the indigent in the environs of Lagos.
This free mission played a role in bringing about positive changes to the health status of indigent Nigerians within the Lagos environs and others from outside the state.
The highlights of this free mission were two cases-a case of Nasal Reconstruction Surgery carried out on a 22year old lady Rosemary John. The surgery is completely different and involves three main surgeries in which some of her body part will be used as covering for the area to be closed. The other case was that of a Suspected Nerve Disorder/Benign Jaw Tumour on 12 year old Oladele Samuel.
Others who benefitted from the free surgeries include a 5 month old baby by name Tijani Ahmed with Cleft Lip, Ibrahim Aisha a 9 year old having Cleft Palate, Nwokeke John an 18year old with Cleft Palate and Babalola Esther 18 year old with Oronasal fistula. Among the beneficiaries were Sunday Oparaji, a 36 year old male, Mudashiru Abdulrasaq, Olayinka Warris, Okeke Nkem, Brown Meshek, Adeniyi Sunkanmi, Agbaje Solomon, Ibezim Wisdom, Oshindero Ayooluwa, Orisan Temilade. The remaining are Aje Yetunde, Salau Pelumi, Oladele Samuel and Anjolaoluwa Muritala.
The support of people with willing hearts and kind spirits like Dr. Idowu Fadeyibi, Consultant and Head of Burns & Plastic, Dr. Buhari, Senior Registrar, Dr. Osinubi, Dr. Omoyibo, Dr. Famiwo, Dr. Opoola, Dr. Nwachukwu, Dr. Sadiq and Dr. Banjoko all Surgeons of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, and the HEWSF management team comprising of its Founder/President, Mr. Remi Adeseun, Vice President, Mrs. Shola Soji-John, Mr. Dotun Abosede, Project Manager, Mr. Lekan Olayiwola, Finance Manager and Mrs. Yetunde Jacobs, Programme Officer and our major sponsors, Sahara Group, Rodot Nigeria Limited and other public spirited individuals too numerous to mention.
Hurrah! HEWSF extended its mission of giving a helping hand to the needy for the first time outside the South West of Nigeria. Our next point of call was to the North West, Gombe State in particular from the 14th to 19th of October 2012 in collaboration with Federal Medical Centre, Gombe. A total of 14 patients were offered free medical surgeries by the Foundation’s team of Surgeons, namely Dr Benedict Akintububo Oral Maxilofacial Consultant, who incidentally is the head of the Dental unit at FMC, Gombe and Dr. Olufemi Ogundipe Oral Maxilofacial Consultant from FMC, Owo.
The breakdown of beneficiaries was made up of 10 adults and 4 children with an even spread of seven (7) male and seven (7) female each. Some of the highlight cases from this mission are:
Adamu Sanni was about five years old when he first visited the Dental clinic at FMC, Gombe, 3 years ago. At that time, he had a slight inflammation that was not so obvious and a minor surgery will have ratified it. Unfortunately, his parents could not afford the N30,000 surgery fees charged then, So they disappeared and only surfaced during the week of the mission for free surgery. By this time a lot of damage had already been done, as Adamu lost a good part of his left lower jaw to Dentigerous Cyst. Notwithstanding, Adamu has another opportunity to live a normal life like other children and the threat of the cyst/tumour degenerating into malignancy has been removed.
Six years old Lawiza Saleh, from Bauchi State had has been suffering from a soft blushing growth on the floor of her mouth for three months. This affected her ability to eat properly and her parents could not afford the prescribed solution (surgery). Her father, a Police Driver the bread winner for the family could not afford to pay for the surgery from his meager salary. Lawiza can now eat any type of food and very well.
The other 12 beneficiaries of the free surgery mission are Mohammed Mohammed, 35 years old man who had this condition since childhood yet asked to be discharged ahead of his surgery because he was more interested in his farm than getting rid of the tumour. Saleh Aliyu a 24 years old man, who had an 8 years old swelling on his forehead, Sadiq Abubakar, a 6 years old boy from Bauchi State with left sided swollen jaw. Mohammed Abubakar, 10 years old boy from Adamawa State. 21 years old Haruna Babaginda who apparently may have inherited his condition of swollen jaw from his grandfather. Halilu Monica, a 32 year old lady with a protrusion of the front upper teeth that had affected her ability to get a suitor. Hadiza Ismail, 39 years old housewife with palatal swelling of the mouth. 3o years old Saadatu Yau, a housewife suffering from a swelling associated with her right nasal cavity who had to sell her vegetable goods to offset the medical bills incurred before the free surgery. Halima Adamu a 50 years old woman with a swelling of the left jaw. Fatima Jauro, a 60 years old woman with a swelling of the left upper jaw and 55 years old Fatsuma Yunusa from Yobe State with an extensive swelling of the upper jaw also benefitted.
The mission in OWO was a first of its kind for HEWSF in that the foundation has always been involved in free cleft lip/palate Surgeries. The mission threw more insight to the prevalent nature of this disease among indigent Nigerians given its nature and manner of presentation as an aliment without any major physical challenge outside of facial distortion/ disfigurement. Fact of the matter is that many of the patients have lived with this condition for at least over 5years. This shows that it is not only common among the rural communities but the lack of financial resources have also played a major role in their inability to access treatment and care over a long period of time. The patients were successfully operated upon and once again our beneficiaries went home smiling never to be stigmatized from normal everyday life.
Ondo town was the recipient of the maiden edition of HEWS Foundation Free Cleft Lip & Palate surgery. On the 17th of August 2010, a first visit was made to the State Hospital to see the Chief Medical Director. A regional team of volunteering Surgeons was recruited and a local team was formed in charge of planning for publicity and registration of patients. Given the importance of the mission to indigent Nigerians, announcements were made on radio & television in three different languages and fliers were also distributed.
The governor Mr. Olusegun Mimiko kicked off the commencement of the program on the 7th of November 2011.From the 7th of November to the 12th November 2010, surgery and post operative procedure was carried out between those five days for 12 patients. A subsequent follow-up was done on the state of all the patients and they all were fine with no morbidity. H.E.W.S Foundation also used the opportunity to implement other related services like the provision of educational grant/scholarship by the Ondo State government to one indigent young girl of about 12 years old. Other potential beneficiaries of the micro-credit scheme were identified and penciled down for the next cycle of our mission in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The Ado-Ekiti mission was initiated on the 17th February 2011through a proposal by HEWS Foundation requesting for partnership with the Ekiti state Government to provide Free Cleft Lip & Palate surgery for indigent patients at the University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti. The Opening ceremony took place on the 28th of March, 2011 and was commissioned by the Ekiti State Deputy Governor Mrs. Funmi Olayinka.
The mission was led by Dr. Kolawole Ogundipe (Mission Director), supported by 6 other Plastic and Maxillofacial surgeons and tens of other healthcare professionals from various hospitals across Nigeria. The surgeries took off on the 18th April 2011 with seven registered patients. Three patients were operated upon on the first day and four on the second day (19th April). Four patients who had responded due to various radio, television and other methods of communication were also relied upon in line with the Foundation’s goal of helping poor people with pressing needs live healthy lives. The programme was a success as patients, who had hitherto lived with unrepaired or poorly repaired Cleft Lip and Palate, and other mouth related ailments had the opportunity to get it repaired at no cost. Follow-up was done with all patients doing well. The two identified beneficiaries from the Ondo mission were awarded a cheque of N50, 000 each by the Deputy Governor of the state.
LASUTH (LAGOS STATE)
The mission took place on the 24th of August 2011, was the most efficient mission done by the Foundation since inception. Eight cases- 2 Lip& 6 Palate Cleft cases were successfully surgically corrected in a single day. The mission was led by Project Coordinator of State Ministry of Health Mrs. Dolapo Fasawe, who had the professional support of Four Surgeons led by Dr. Idowu Fadeyibi, Anesthetists, with over fifteen nursing staff and other health workers from LASUTH.
The Honorable Commissioner of Health Dr. Jide Idris visited at about midday and the surgeries ended about 7pm in the night. Post operatives assessment was done by H.E.W.S Foundation in collaboration with the healthcare providers on the beneficiaries. Two parents of the beneficiaries considered for micro-credit scheme was awarded by H.E.W.S as the other failed to show up. The grant money for the beneficiary was given to another beneficiary’s mother from Ondo State who had been in search of a job since 2007 when she graduated from the University.