Established 25 years ago, Pro-Health International (PHI) has been creating impact through free health care projects carried out in rural and semi-urban communities in Nigeria and other African countries. For the past 25 years, PHI has taken quality and quantitative health care to 26 out of the 36 states in Nigeria, and 25 other African countries, including Haiti.
Owing to the high burden of diseases in rural communities and the poor access to quality health care, Pro-Health International provides, with the aid of volunteers, quality health services through medical missions carried out for a period of one to two weeks within these communities. A team of about 60 medical and non-medical volunteers are recruited to take free health care to the the door posts of the poor and marginalised. The team usually comprises physicians, consultant surgeons, pharmacists, optometrists, consultant ophthalmologists, dentists, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, monitoring and evaluation specialists, health education/promotion experts, counsellors and logistics officers.
During the missions, we render both generalized and specialized healthcare services which include: outpatient consultations, maternal, neonatal and pediatric health services, women’s reproductive health and family planning services, general, gynecologic and specialized surgical operations, ophthalmic procedures (including cataract surgeries, refraction, provision of reading glasses and treatment of minor eye conditions), dental care (including extractions, dentures, scaling, polishing, fillings and minor oral surgical procedures), laboratory investigations such as Fasting Blood Sugar, Hepatitis B and C, Heamoglobin Estimation, Packed Cell Volume, Blood Grouping, Syphilis etc, HIV/AIDS prevention programs, pharmaceutical services: provision of free medications and drug information, nutritional and general health promotion, referrals, behavioral counselling and attendance to emergencies.
During our missions, we provide hands-on training for the health care professionals working in the host health facility as well as health care workers within the local government area. After the outreach, these trained health professionals take over the patients care from us. They help follow up on the patients, especially the surgical patients, while we provide guidance through correspondence and then return two weeks later with a smaller team to do a final post-op check.
All of these services are provided free of charge to the recipients. A total of 2, 000 to 2, 500 patients are attended to during each outreach.
In most developing countries, particularly in Africa, health care delivery has faced enormous challenges due to insufficient resources such as trained medical personnel, health facilities and up-to-date medical equipment and infrastructure. Even when hospitals are built and medical equipment provided within the rural communities, the required workforce needed for such facilities to function is usually not available. Qualified medical professionals often prefer to work in the cities rather than in rural communities. Despite government’s effort to address the wide-ranging issues in the sector, there still remains a big gap due to the enormity of the problem. For the past 25 years, Pro-Health International, as an indigenous health care organization, has been committed to contributing to filling this gap.
We focus on improving the health status of the poor and less privileged in the rural and semi urban areas of Nigeria and other countries in Africa, using a team of dedicated and experienced medical, para-medical, and non-medical personnel consisting of doctors, dentists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, nurses, pharmacists, medical students, other paramedics and non-health professionals.
Over the years, we have seen many communities without a single health care facility or qualified healthcare providers. The people had to travel for miles to reach the nearest facility, often in another community, and only did so if they, or a family member were gravely ill. Because of this, many have resorted to traditional means of treating themselves. The use of herbs and concoctions to treat ailments has resulted to high mortality rates in these communities, the highest indices being among women and children who die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth and preventable childhood diseases.
This is why we are passionate about meeting the health care needs of people living in the most remote villages in Africa. Our goal is to reach the unreached, the poor and less privileged, with quality and quantitative health care and hope free of charge. We have done this for 25 years now and we are just getting started.
With a volunteer pool of about 3, 000 to 3, 500 medical and non-medical professionals around the world, we have built enough capacity to carry out medical projects anywhere in the world. Having been to 26 states in Nigeria, and 25 African countries, including Haiti, we have provided potentially life saving health care services to thousands of communities too numerous to mention. We have climbed the mountains of Cameroon, on foot for about 6 hours; crossed the rivers of Esa, Katele and Imale with our medical supplies; gone to the islands of Igo in Ondo state; entered the creeks of Esama in Delta state; driven for 18 to 20 hours by road to the South South Areas of Nigeria and flown to the most rugged communities in other African countries. We have slept on hard floors, bathed in rivers and streams and we have enjoyed every bit of it. It has been our pleasure to reach the hard-to-reach and we are honoured to say about 2.5 million people have benefited from our numerous medical missions across Africa.
We work in partnership with Federal, States and Local governments, Philanthropists, donor agencies, fund-raising organizations and individuals to carry out our projects. Over the years we have benefited from the kind-hearted donations and support of people all around the world who believe in what we do. Because of them we have been able to impact many lives.
You too can be a part of what we do. You can help make us reach Internally Displaced Persons, the unreached states in Nigeria, as well as other African countries. Your donation and support will make that happen. Join the movement.
It is impossible without you!