Mercy Medical Missions, Nigeria
Timmy and Mercy Medical Missions work together to provide healthcare to the underserved communities in Amichi and Uromi through short-term medical service trips.
In the summer of 2010, The Mercy Foundation formally merged its healthcare outreach and education programs in Nigeria with Timmy Global Health, making Mercy Medical Missions Nigeria Timmy’s sixth international outreach program.
Dr. Mercy Obeime, a family practice physician in Indianapolis and native of Nigeria, founded the Mercy Foundation in 2001. Dr. Obeime was inspired to create her foundation after visiting one of her medical school professors in Nigeria. During her visit, a man brought his very ill wife to the hospital, but could not pay the money needed to register her. She discovered that the man’s wife had been ill for days and was extremely dehydrated. The man had spent the entire day in search of a loan so he could afford treatment for his wife, but was unsuccessful. Dr. Obeime offered to help cover the costs, but unfortunately, her help came too late. The patient passed away soon after arriving at the hospital. The experience haunted Dr. Obeime throughout her stay in Nigeria and when she landed back in Indianapolis she decided to do something to reduce premature deaths like the one she had witnessed.
Today Mercy Medical Missions and Timmy Global Health work together to engage patients in programs designed to teach preventative health measures and lifestyle modifications to help patients improve their overall quality of life and health outcomes. Mercy Medical Missions compliments Timmy’s efforts to expand access to health in Nigeria with first-hand knowledge of how to best address healthcare challenges in West Africa.
The Communities We Serve
Working closely with Mercy Medical Missions, Timmy supports ongoing medical projects in Amichi, Anambra State and Uromi, Edo State. Anambra State and Edo State share an in-land border in Southwestern Nigeria, along the Western Coast of Africa. Both states have a history of infrastructural damage and economic destruction following the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970. In the decades since, local governments have struggled to rebuild hospitals, schools, and public housing, but high levels of corruption and financial mismanagement have made rebuilding extremely difficult. Anambra State has the lowest poverty rate in all of Nigeria—GDP per capita is less than $1,600 a year—and Edo State isn’t far off. Nigeria as a whole is among the developing world countries spending the least per individual on healthcare.
The community of Amichi is one of the most heavily populated in all of Nigeria, riddled with issues of overcrowding and limited resources. These dense living conditions create a number of public health issues related to pollution and sanitation, which, when combined with the lack of affordable healthcare services, result in a high number of chronic health conditions. The community of Uromi suffers from similar issues related to overpopulation, and its limited healthcare delivery system is further impaired by the lack of reliable electricity and functioning roads. In addition, Uromi and surrounding communities have no immediate access to streams or rivers, making public sanitation and access to clean water major health issues for the region.
Outreach, Projects and Solutions
Timmy and Mercy Medical Missions work together to provide healthcare to the underserved communities in Amichi and Uromi through short-term medical service trips. Collaborating with the Diocesan Hospital in Amichi, our partners run a free medical clinic where they treat patients for diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple eye conditions, osteoarthritis, and ulcers. They also provide health education, screen for high blood sugar, and provide eye screenings. In 2012, our partners worked with Ready Glass Angels to distribute over 300 pairs of brand new reading glasses. Working closely with the ophthalmology residents and staffs from Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Surgical Eye Expeditions, they also performed 16 life-changing eye surgeries. Mercy Medical Missions also helped to install a new running water system in the hospital, to improve the service capacity for both patients and the community.
In Uromi, our partners work to improve health outcomes for patients with chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis. By helping to finance a staff of one medical director, five nurses, and five nursing assistants, we were able to treat and counsel over 400 patients in 2012. When left untreated, diabetes and high blood pressure lead to more health complications like heart disease, stroke, and eye problems. Because early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing these life-threatening illnesses, Mercy Medical Missions focuses much of its time and resources on health screenings, treatment with medications, diet, and exercise.