African Development and Empowerment foundation (AfricanDEF) was at Oganla community in Oyo state for a medical outreach organized in partnership with Divine Mission Healthcare International. At the outreach, AfricanDEF’s team members carried out screening tests for HIV and hepatitis for pregnant women, young children and members of the community in attendance.
The event took place at the Foursquare Gospel Church in Oganla community where religious leaders and community elders are working together to ensure good health of residents in the neighbourhood.
Addressing those in attendance, Dr Victoria Adepoju, Executive Director, AfricanDEF, noted that HIV transmission is possible from mother to child. But with early detection and prompt treatment, the risk can be reduced.
Also addressing those in attendance, Pastor Karounwi Ogunjobi, a pharmacist, encouraged them to cultivate the habit of checking their health status routinely to prevent late diagnosis and complications, this is because health of the church members and the community in general could impact economic progress and standard of living.
The health team comprised of medical doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists, pharmacists, counsellors, community health workers and several others.
AfricanDEF interviewed some members of the community and it was evident that they have poor knowledge of the HIV virus and AIDS.
One of the women said “HIV can be gotten after delivery when there is excessive loss of blood.”
Parents lamented the paucity of reproductive health information and the difficulty in incorporating it into Nigeria’s health system as Nigerians are used to focusing on the boil and leaving the cancer to fester.
Mr Taiwo, a school teacher narrated how his first daughter was raped and impregnated. The delivered a preterm neonate which died eventually. That was not the end of his story. Four months later, the girl was impregnated yet again by the same guy.
It all happened with the parents feeling helpless.
The event was all-encompassing. AfricanDEF coordinated counselling and testing for HIV, Hepatitis and other sexually transmitted infections. We also coordinated family planning advocacy with distribution of free latex condoms, public enlightenment on breastfeeding and youth empowerment.
Children were also screened for malaria parasite, adults had their glucose levels checked in addition to the HIV and hepatitis screening. Simultaneously, vital signs were monitored and everyone in attendance, were screened for temperature, blood pressure and weight.
At the end of the screening, the ratio of newly detected cases of HIV and Hepatitis was 2:5. All the persons that tested positive were placed on immediate care and were referred to where they could obtain free treatment.