A non-governmental organisation, Doctors Health Initiative (DHI), has put smiles on the faces of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in Eleko Beach area of Lagos state after distributing food items among other essentials to over 600 households in this pandemic era.
For DHI, it went with an ultimate quest to alleviate the anguish of the people, who were justling and hustling even before the lockdown. It took foodstuffs like rice, beans, beverage, cereals, spices, noodles, sanitary towels, hand sanitiser, toothpaste and facemasks among a handful of others to the dwellers.
Reacting to the gesture, 28 years old Mrs. Paulina Haruna, a mother of three, could not contain her joy especially in this time. She expressed faintly in pidgin English: “Since they told us there is that sickness (COVID-19), we have been hustling to eat”.
She told THISDAY that her husband who worked at a refinery at Eleko junction had been home since the lockdown. “It has been hard feeding the children. My husband is trying very well. But Dr. Nkechi has been trying for us”.
Interestingly, DHI went with a team of four excluding its founder, Dr. Nkechi Asogwa. This it has been doing since 2015 through medical outreaches and skills acquisition at the Eleko Beach IDP.
While the IDPs cheered and chanted, a representative of DHI, Dr. Sandra Onyekwe, enthused that it became imperative to visit the IDP in this time of pandemic.
“From the onset of the pandemic, we have been noticing different lives and livelihood have been accepted in terms of people losing their jobs. We have seen that they have been having difficulties to feed themselves and their families; hence, the initiative.”
Truly, DHI has become famous for its outreaches in the past. It had given the dwellers basic medical care, checked their BPs and to those that required essential drugs like anti-hypertensive to diabetic drugs and anti-malaria including dental outreach.
Another dweller, Melle Kolo is a commercial motorcyclist among the IDPs. He is in his 50s. He has one wife and five children and prays for an additional 10 as he chuckled.
He has been at the IDP for 15 years now and has seen the good, the bad and the very ugly NGOs, who make empty promises to them and never fulfill any.
“Only this DHI comes here to take care of us. These people have come here five times and done well for us unlike others, they promise and fulfill. We all appreciate Dr. Nkechi very well,” he lauded.
It is all thanks to DHI that the IDPs look forward to another day. They also commended their Pastor and Chairman of Chibok Community in Lagos, Mr. Jonah Solomon, who always sees to their safety and welfare.
Solomon noted: “This gesture is a very laudable one and we thank DHI for always coming to our aid. Others promise us heaven and earth yet we see nothing. But Dr. Nkechi’s DHI is not like that.”
While a few of the dwellers, especially nursing mothers, waited in the building used for church service, others sat on their bikes outside reminiscing every moment. It was, indeed, a huge relief pack for them.