Our last routine antenatal postnatal care and vaccination outreach was in the month of March due to the global pandemic and accompanying lockdown in Lagos, Nigeria. Therefore, from March ending till June, we rendered other non-medical interventions to communities and individuals such as relief materials that included food items and cash donations in some cases. We had spent time revising our healthcare interventions these past months to ensure our team and benefactors are safe during our health events.
Health outreach at Oko-Agbon community 9/07/2020
Our fundraising goal was set at ₦534,000, but we raised half the budget at ₦281,400 at the time for our first health outreach which held on Thursday 9th of July, in Sogunro-Pedro and Oko-Agbon communities , two slum communities in Lagos ,State respectively.
The increase of our routine health outreach budget by over 1000% is to meet the safety guidelines put in place by the NCDC in order to curb the spread of Covid19. This extra expenses covers the additional cost of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other essential items to ensure the safety of our team and the women and children we serve in these slum communities.
As a result of the rainy season there has been increase in flooding across Lagos, a development that is often worse for the communities we serve . Our community health volunteers went through a lot of hurdle to get into the communities especially the Sogunro team as wee have not experienced this kind of flood since we started in Sogunro in 2016.
Sogunro Community Photo©️Alabiamo /2020/SunnyAbei
In addition, mobilization of our benefactors (pregnant women , nursing mothers and babies ) ahead of the event was challenging. Our volunteers within the slum communities went door-to-door to inform people about the resumption of our health outreaches after almost a 4-month hiatus. In the past , we relied on community religious leaders and settings to get the message across easily to the community dwellers but that is no longer possible due to the lockdown on religious activities in the state till further notice. Communication with these community dwellers has always been a major challenge as vast majority do not own mobile phones. Another challenge we noticed upon arrival on Thursday, 9 July, 2020 was that most of the pregnant women were not receiving any maternal health care as well as the babies who have not been immunized since our last visit in March 2020. Stretching wider the gap we have worked hard to close with our last mile service interventions.
COMMUNITY HEALTH OUTREACHES
SOGUNRO: We attended to 8 pregnant women in Sogunro, 5 out of 8, received tetanus injection.
We also immunized 19 babies in Sogunro.
OKO- AGON: We immunized 24 babies and attended to 16 pregnant women in Oko-Agbon community.
We also distributed newborn diapers and feeding bottles to pregnant women and nursing mothers in Oko-Agbon community. The diapers and feeding bottles were part of the items donated to us from a previous donation from our partner’s at Rotary e-club District 9125 visit in November 2019.
COVID19: STRATEGY UPDATE
Our strategy now is to visit these communities with our interventions once a month rather than bi-weekly during these uncertain times we are in and all subsequent visits will involve a risk assessment to inform our strategies for future outreaches in order to ensure the safety of our team members and benefactors.
Please note: Even though we prepared all our PPE i.e. KN95 mask, surgical mask, PPE overall, face shield etc. Based on the training attended by one of our medical team members, we were told to carry out a risk assessment upon our arrival at the community and since there were no confirmed covid cases within the population we were dealing with, we had to limit our PPE to face mask, face shield and gloves for this event. However, we advised and enforced all of our benefactors to put on their masks and we tried as much as possible to practice social distancing. We also distributed free nose masks to those who did not have. We also reduced our patient contact times for both pregnancy women antenatal and babies immunizations.
However, all of these PPEs are ready as we continue to examine and review our community interventions strategy.
We thank all of our donors, advocates, partners and everyone who continually support especially in these times of uncertainty. You are most appreciated as we cannot do all of these with our your help and support. Thank you for your continuous support in ending maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria .
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