Orange Health Medical Centre Champions Health Intervention Programme for Ajegunle Community

Orange Health Medical Centre Champions Health Intervention Programme for Ajegunle Community

Funmi Ogundare

Orange Health Medical Centre , is championing the Ajegunle Social Health Intervention Programme ( A-SHIP), a health system strengthening strategy  to improve access, affordability and financial inclusion in healthcare especially for members of the community.

Speaking with journalists to commemorate the third anniversary of the programme, recently, the Chief Project Officer, Dr. Kunle Megbuwawon explained that its goal is to be able to register 60 per cent of the population out of the 550,000 inhabitants living in the community. He added that it was seeking donors and partners  in order to scale or replicate Orange Health in other centres.

According to him, “we believe that nobody should be sick without being able to access  healthcare which is  the principle of universal health coverage . What are the social determinants of health? What if we created a theory of change and provide a hospital to change the social economy? Can we use the hospital to influence better environment? A-SHIP is a health system strengthening strategy  to improve access, affordability and financial inclusion in healthcare. All our efforts have been geared towards improving the social economy, lifestyle of the people and the environment.”

He expressed concern that the health centres built by the government are under-utilised, stating that If the government partners with it, it could stimulate demand for quality  healthcare and the people will be happy.

He stated, “ideas will be created around project plans and implementation plan will be  carried out. One of our major problem is implementation . What we do is that apart from creating a project plan, we do a needs assessment and critical mitigation planning.  Every community is different so we will do a needs assessment. What do they really need? What is their behaviour like! What you cannot totally predict is human behaviour. We are doing this in Ajegunle because we understand their peculiar behaviour and we can create a plan and mitigations; and identify the risks around it and I am sure we can have successful replication of this process.”

So far, the chief project officer stated that it has  registered over 15,000 people on the scheme, adding that so much efforts have gone into creating awareness to sensitise the people on healthcare. 

“When we did the ‘clean up Ajegunle’, one of the things we do, is to set up a medical screening centre and as we were cleaning the streets, we were also calling the people to come and check their vitals. We got a lot of them who are hypertensive. There were doctors on ground so we were able to pull out people who had one disease or another. It is meant to influence environmental health when people see that a hospital is championing a cleaner environment,” Megbuwawon stressed.

The medical doctor emphasised on health insurance and why the elderly shouldn’t be excluded, saying that it was the reason why it introduced the ‘Ajo Health’ a micro health insurance scheme to bring healthcare to the people as they save as little as N50 everyday.

“As of today, we have 100 people who have registered . The scheme is novel and innovative because it is different from  people paying for one year insurance like they pay on Lagos State insurance. We ensure that before they register, they do initial screening such as blood pressure, blood sugar, urinalysis etc. That way, we begin to build confidence in the people and when they are sick, we admit some of them. They didn’t have pay. They are now the ones telling their friends . Imagine 100 people paying N1,500 every month! That is N150,000. That is how we are able to procure our drugs to give care to everybody that comes to the hospital.”

The doctor however,  said the hospital is bogged down by lack of funding, adding that funding is important fir its expansion. rom the onset,  

“This project started as a passion project. I had a gunshot to my neck which I survived and I promised that I was going  to give back. So I asked people to give me N1,000. However, some gave me more like N5,000, 10,000 and N50,000. What did we do? I converted my fathers house to a hospital. To ensure that we brought the concept to life, I brought in personal effects from my house like computers, air conditioner and television . You can’t do a project asking people to support you without your personal input. When we first started, I was using my salary to pay staff salary without having enough. But now, we are stable, we are able to raise enough funds. We need funding to expand the hospital . We want more people to be able to access healthcare. 

“Now we have 10 beds and fully functional laboratory and theater suits. We have a delivery room, first aid room, scrub and laundry room, and we can do all sorts of surgeries . We have done about seven surgeries in the last two years, we have specialist that are partnering with us. The most important is the outcome of what we do.”

Megbuwawon expressed concern that so many younger doctors have had to seek greener pastures abroad leaving the older generations saying, ” you cannot stop people from relocating. If you go to the embassy, you will see how Nigerians are paying millions of naira and maybe out of a 100 persons, only one is given visa. People also go to the extent of getting proof of fund and that is a lot on them. You can’t totally stop the ‘Japa’ syndrome because we are now in a global village , but what I tell them is that there are opportunities here. If I could start this small, I am sure every doctor can also start.”

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