Report of Surgical/Medical Mission December 12-23, 2016 Imo state, Nigeria (ANPA Certified)
Dear volunteers, sponsors, partners, friends, and family,
I wish you and yours a very happy and healthy 2017!
Below is the summary report of our most recent Surgical/Medical Mission to Imo state, Nigeria from December 12-23, 2016, along with attached pictures. This is an Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) certified mission and many of us are also ANPA members.
I am very grateful to God and to the volunteer team members hereby listed for a great job well done, despite experiencing the most difficulties since the inception of Imo Medical Mission, Inc., in 2003!
Here they are: Thanks Volunteers!!
Joyce Kathleen Caberto – RN ; CNOR
Dr. Obiloh Egu – OB/GYN;Cosmetic surg
Dr. Emeka Acholonu – General Surgery
Dr. Kingsley Asumugha – OB/GYN
Dr. Stanley Okoro – Plastic surgery
Dr. Anele Ebizie – Orthopedics
Dr. Udo Asonye – Pediatrics/NICU
Dr. Cliff Eke – General/Thoracic Surgery
Dr. Urania Iheanacho – Ophthalmology
Dr. Chimaobi Humble – Anesthesiology
Dr. Okey Duru – General Surgery
Dr. Alex Chukwulebe – General Surgery
Dr. Chikwendu Ejike – OMF/Dental Surg
Dr. Sam Emdin – Orthopedics
Dr. Kingsley Opara – Plastic Surgery
Dr. Henry Agwu – Med/Surgery Resident
Dr. Juanita Oriaku – Intern
Dr. Miriam Anyanwu – Intern
Dr. Dike – Resident
Dr. Kaunda – Neurosurgery
We performed over 100 operations, including about 40 eye procedures
Most of the surgeries were performed at the Imo Foundation hospital complex under the leadership of the Director General, Chief Mrs. Pat Eke.
At the request of the State Commissioner for Health, Social Services, and Women Affairs, Hon. Barr. Mrs. Ngozi Njoku, some gynecological and plastic surgeries were performed at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH).
Types of surgeries successfully completed were cataracts and other eye cases, mandible tumors resections, tooth extractions, thyroidectomies, breast lumpectomies, lipomas and “lumps and bumps,” ganglion cysts, burn contracture release, tendon transfer, keloids excision/injections, ventral and inguinal hernias repairs with mesh, pediatric inguinal and umbilical hernias, undescended testes, orchipexies, hydrocelectomies, myomectomies, hysterectomies, and minor orthopedic procedures, etc.
These surgeries were safely done, in part due to the pulse oximeters that I obtained from Lifebox and Americares and donated them to Imo Foundation Hospital under the care of Dr. Humble, the local anesthesiologist. They were used to monitor patients intraoperatively as well as in the PACU and wards. We also introduced and taught/practiced the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist with the OR team, and pasted laminated copies on the theater doors.
We had daily hospital teaching rounds with the residents and nurses, plus pre- and post-operative clinics.
On December 17, Dr. Obiloh Egu and nurses Joyce Caberto, Sop Iwe, Ifeoma, plus Ifeanyichukwu Udeh (pharmacy) ccompanied me to a medical outreach program in my village, Amafor, Ngor Okpala LGA. We attended to about 400 people with different ailments such as cough, malaria, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, typhoid, malnutrition, cancers, HIV, worms, to mention a few. We gave dental hygiene kits that included toothpaste, tooth powder, toothbrush, and flossing supplies.
We also distributed over 250 reading glasses, which were very popular and gave immediate blessing impact since recipients were elated as they could now read fine prints. Many testified in church the next day glad they could read the Bible better! What a life changing experience for some due to our little contributions! It should amaze and encourage us to give more, against all odds.
This was done in partnership with my local Durham Baptist church, the health commissioner, Barr. Ngozi Njoku, who donated the malaria testing kits and medications, Kingsway Charities, Isaiah’s Rock, AmeriCares, and Chima Medical Missions International.
On December 22, I participated in another medical outreach to Akabo, Ikeduru LGA, with Nurse Practitioners Christy Anisi and Sonia Tovar, Dr. Okey Duru, Ifeanyichukwu Udeh, Chinedu Iwe, Leeanne Obilor and other volunteers. We attended to and treated similar cases as described above.
Likewise, Dr. Stanley Okoro and another medical team had a medical outreach to his village in Orlu LGA in December.
As usual, all these surgical/medical missions were done in collaboration with local healthcare workers for continuity of care in our absence.
On December 20, Dr. Udo Asonye taught the Helping Babies Breathe practical workshop to 35 attendees composed of local midwives, pediatricians, and pediatric nurses. These providers were certified and given materials to teach others at their places of work in different parts of the state, thereby helping to improve the peri-delivery newborn care.
The importance or advantages of these surgical/medical missions cannot be overemphasized, and include:
1. Free quality care for the patients
2. Reduced cost of health care to the state government since we bring our skills, knowledge, essential equipment, and do not get paid
3. Knowledge and skills transfer between us and local consultants
4. Teaching of nursing students, medical students, and residents
5. Increase volume of cases at the hospitals and teaching institutions which facilitates their accreditations
6. Various Health Education activities like BLS and Helping Babies Breathe workshops, lectures
7. Networking and collaboration between diaspora and home based healthcare providers to improve health in Nigeria
“Health is wealth,” as you all know. But health is not cheap or really “free” in every part of the world. Ultimately, someone or insurance has to pay for it. Therefore we have to be innovative and invest wisely to make it cost effective, and sustainable, especially in Nigeria. Our leaders need to know this and do more to tangibly change our health care system for good.
Thanks to all our volunteers and support staff that worked tirelessly to see that we blessed so many people with the gift of free surgery and better health this past Christmas season.
I encourage everyone reading this to either donate or volunteer in something, sometime, somewhere, to help another human. It is one of the greatest joys with priceless rewards, especially when you see the beautiful smiles on the beneficiaries faces.
More information can be found on www.imomedicalmission.org, www.imofoundation.org, www.chimamedicalmission.com, and www.anpa.org
Cliff C. Eke, MD, FACS, FICS
Executive Director, Imo Medical Mission
CEO, Chima Medical Missions INT’L
Chair Medical Mission Committe, ANPA