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MUTA Health Fair Project

MUTA Health Fair Project

The Mutual Union of Tiv in America (MUTA) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with a mission to advance education and healthcare initiatives in Africa and provide relief support during times of disaster to alleviate human suffering. One of the major concerns of MUTA is the prevalence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and malaria in Benue State, Nigeria. Over the past five years, thousands of lives have been lost in Benue State due to these health issues, making it one of the top five states with the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Nigeria.

To address the urgent health needs of the people in Benue State, MUTA has previously organized health fairs in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, the scale of the health challenges faced by the people is immense. Thus, in response to the gravity of these health issues, MUTA is proposing to conduct another State-wide Health Fair in Benue State, Nigeria. The primary objective of this fair will be to provide health education, promote good health practices, and implement preventive measures to reduce the incidence of diseases.

Notably, the 2019 Health Fair was organized at three IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps, prioritizing the immediate healthcare needs of those who were displaced. This decision was driven by the higher security risk in the region, ensuring the safety of the volunteer staff by focusing on confirmed locations rather than traveling to other areas. Through these initiatives, MUTA aims to contribute significantly to improving the health and well-being of the people of Benue State.

Project Goal: The major goal of the MUTA Health Fair initiative is to provide free medication, health education, and preventive measures to reduce the occurrence of chronic diseases and their related complications, thereby reducing illness and deaths in Benue State.

The Need: Chronic diseases have become the leading cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for 60% of all deaths. In developing countries like Nigeria, these diseases have a severe impact on economic development and negatively affect families and communities. With 80% of chronic disease deaths occurring in developing nations, there is a significant need to increase health literacy and awareness, especially in regions with limited access to healthcare services.

Project Objectives: To address the urgent health needs in Benue State, the following project objectives have been identified:

  1. Education on Chronic Diseases: Provide education and enhance the understanding of chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension, stroke, HIV/AIDS, and Cancer.
  2. Promote Self-Management: Educate individuals and families affected by chronic diseases on best management practices and self-management.
  3. Preventive Strategies: Educate people at risk about long-term complications and risk factors and provide preventive strategies.
  4. Malaria Education: Provide health education on malaria prevention, including sanitation, mosquito control, and medication.
  5. Healthcare Professional Seminars: Organize seminars and interactive sessions for healthcare professionals to discuss pertinent health issues in Benue State.
  6. Public Screening: Provide free screening for chronic diseases, including Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and HIV/AIDS testing, along with medication and medical care access for those in need.

Project Activities: To achieve the outlined objectives, the following activities have been planned:

  1. Conduct counseling sessions and one-on-one interventions with patients at major sites in Benue State to provide education and information on lifestyle modifications for chronic disease management (July 6 to July 11, 2020).
  2. Orient one-on-one sessions towards individuals and families affected by Diabetes, Hypertension, stroke, HIV/AIDS, and Cancer, focusing on best management procedures.
  3. Host sessions on long-term complications and risk factors for the elderly, including information on proper diet and exercises to reduce chronic disease risks.
  4. Organize sessions on malaria prevention, promoting sanitation, mosquito control, and the use of mosquito nets and insect repellents.
  5. Conduct seminars and workshops for healthcare professionals, fostering open discussions on pertinent health issues in Benue State.
  6. Provide free screening for Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and HIV/AIDS testing during the Health Fair, with access to medication and medical care for positive cases.

Expected Outcomes: It is expected that the activities conducted during the MUTA Health Fair in Benue State will:

  • Increase awareness and understanding of chronic diseases (heart disease/hypertension, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS).
  • Promote self-management and preventive measures for better health outcomes.
  • Enhance awareness of chronic disease risk factors and long-term complications.
  • Provide information on actions to reduce the incidence of malaria.
  • Facilitate linkages to access medical care for those in need.

Conclusion: The success of the Health Fair depends on the collaborative efforts of all involved. As a MUTA project, the responsibility for its success or failure lies with the organization, and we are fully committed to hosting a successful event that will make a positive impact on the health of the people of Benue State.