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Medic Carries Essential Medicines To Poor Communities In Nigeria

By IHP, Mar 10 2017 03:58PM

A psychiatrist, driven by the desire to make a difference in the lives of the poor, flew out to Nigeria this week equipped with our Essential Health Packs, formerly called Doctors’ Travel Packs. Dr Olufemi Sanni, a Locum with Greater Manchester Health Services, has been travelling to deprived regions of Nigeria providing health care and education for the last seven years.

Over that time the father of two boys has carried out more than 10 outreach programmes. In 2011 his brother Yomi Sanni (Steno) died in a road traffic accident three days before Dr Sanni was to attend a maiden event launching his foundation to help disadvantaged communities in Nigeria. Six months later, spurred on by his brother’s death, he registered the foundation in his memory. He named it the Steno Memorial Foundation.

“I have always wanted to give back. I started with my own money then over time I have received donations from friends, family and colleagues,” he explains.

Last year his small team of medical volunteers organised screenings, surgical care and after care sessions for 27 people on top of the hundreds that were treated for general ailments. Dr Sanni explains that the health needs in Nigeria are many, “There are a lot of people suffering from undiagnosed diabetes, poorly managed high blood pressure, arthritic pain, osteoarthritis, peptic ulcers, fungal infections, bone problems. We treat a lot of children with ear infections, malaria and typhoid,” he says.

On this trip, Dr Sanni will be travelling to Ijebu North in Ogun State. He heard about International Health Partners (IHP) from a friend, “He called me while I was still in Nigeria last year and asked me where I sourced my medicines from. Then told me that I should get in touch with International Health Partners.”

In February he was in Abuja, Nigeria, to give a talk about mental health. “We are setting up a seclusion unit for Lagos University Teaching Hospital Psychiatry department to help people with severe and enduring mental health disorders,” explains the medic who is driven to improve both the mental and physical health of Nigeria’s most disadvantaged.

He is extremely pleased to be carrying the Essential Health Packs and knows, without a doubt, that they are going to make a huge difference in people’s lives, “My concern has always been to bring good quality care to the communities I am helping. To do that it is crucial that I bring genuine medicines. There are a lot of fake ones out there and it’s not possible to verify. But at least with these EHPs, I know they are genuine and the people I will be helping will see the impact almost immediately. So, I’m very excited,” says Dr Sanni.

We will catch up with Dr Sanni when he returns to the UK to find out how he got on.

If you are interested in carrying out an Essential Health Pack, click here.

Picture: Dr Olufemi Sanni prior to his trip to Nigeria with IHP's Essential Health Packs.

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