NIGERIA: Don Bosco Health Center in Akure launches awareness campaign in addition to providing medical care for low-income individuals
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Health Center in Akure, Nigeria, has launched a new video that highlights precautionary measures that people should take in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The Don Bosco Health Center has made it a point to provide education to all patients visiting the clinic about the virus, as well as to advise on what to do if one develops any symptoms.
The clinic is at the heart of Akure, where the majority of the population is made up of low-income earners. People go to the clinic for routine medical care and for testing for malaria, typhoid and fasting blood glucose. Don Bosco Health Center is an important hub in the implementation of the ongoing sensitization program against the COVID-19 virus by the Salesians of Don Bosco, in conjunction with the Catholic Diocese of Ondo and the state government.
Salesian missionaries offer more than 200 medical clinics and hospitals in mostly rural areas around the globe that serve a wide range of medical care needs. Leprosy, otherwise known as Hansen’s disease, has been a focus of Salesian-run medical clinics for more than 100 years. HIV/AIDS prevention programs are also a vital component of Salesian health care initiatives in Africa. In many countries with Salesian programs, dental care and other necessary health services are offered to poor youth and their families who might otherwise have no access to health care.
“The work of Salesian missionaries around the globe goes beyond education,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesians aim to serve the whole person by making sure that basic needs like health and nutrition are met in addition to other social service needs. Medical and dental clinics ensure that those who are living in poverty still have access to the medical care they need even when they cannot afford to pay for it. This is especially important in times of a health crisis like we are facing now.”
According to UNICEF, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the ninth most populous country in the world. By United Nations estimates, Nigeria will be one of the countries responsible for most of the world’s total population increase by 2050. While Nigeria has the second strongest economy in Africa, it also has extreme rates of poverty with 100 million people living on less than $1 a day.
About 64 percent of households in Nigeria consider themselves to be poor while 32 percent of households say their economic situation had worsened over a period of one year, according to UNICEF. Poverty still remains one of the most critical challenges facing the country and population growth rates have meant a steady increase in the number of people living in conditions of poverty.
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Salesian Missions – Nigeria
UNICEF – Nigeria