As part of its efforts to promote good health and well-being of children, one of Nigeria’s leading online Facebook communities and past winner of the Facebook Community Leadership Program (FCLP), Ask The Paediatricians (ATP) Foundation has concluded its first nationwide Children’s Day Community Medical Outreach programme.
Held with partial funding from the FCLP, a Facebook initiative established to give participants from around the world the support, tools, funding and the belief in themselves that they need to best lead their communities, the outreach which took place between May and June this year reached children in 33 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, touching 35 communities.
According to Dr Gbemisola Boyede, Founder/CEO, ATP Foundation and FCLP Fellow, most of the outreach programmes took place in carefully selected very indigent communities in each of the 33 States and the FCT.
“It was also our first time of going nationwide. The feedback from the communities and the community leaders were quite amazing. At these outreaches which serve as our opportunity to celebrate the 2019 Children’s Day; 1,450 ATP volunteers reached a total of 17,096 children nationwide,” she said.
Explaining further, Boyede said that the outreach programme featured talks on nutrition and dental care which were given by volunteer paediatricians and dentists in the local language in some cases. She further revealed that opportunities were provided for questions and answers.
“Our medical outreaches entailed nutritional status assessment of the children, mass deworming of children, as well as a medical and dental consultations by paediatricians, medical doctors and dentists. We also had Outreach Laboratory Services, doing rapid malaria tests and, in some states, HIV and Hepatitis B screen,” she said.
Following medical and dental consultations, the children proceeded to the pharmacy team where they received free drugs, mostly essential drugs. Children with conditions that could not be handled on the field were given referral letters to the closest hospitals.
Boyede commended Facebook for being a part of the outreach programme. “We are grateful to Facebook for supporting the outreaches through the FCLP grant and other bodies for support in cash and kind as well through their generous donations of drugs, books and gifts for the children. We are looking forward to impacting more children in Nigeria come October when our next set of community medical outreaches would be taking place,” she adds.
The Facebook Community Leadership Program (FCLP) was started to address the needs identified by community leaders. A global initiative, FCLP gives over 100 participants from around the world the support, tools, funding and the belief in themselves that they need to best lead their communities.
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