Article

Rural Redemptions Medical Missions: Free Healthcare Services for Rural Communities

    Author:
  • Emma Schwartz
  • May 20, 2013
Rural Redemptions

We are excited to introduce Rural Redemptions (rR), a non-profit, non-governmental organization of volunteers committed to answering calls for help in times of need, crises and human suffering, restoring health and hope for the future to the impoverished and underserved.

In partnership with other non-profit organizations, rR undertakes rural-poverty redemption projects and poverty reduction programs targeted towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals established by the United Nations to develop and engender integrated and sustainable rural development amongst the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Of particular note is Rural Redemptions Medical Missions, a US-based team of volunteer doctors and medical professionals who undertake a series of medical missions to deliver free healthcare services to children and families living in rural areas who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease and famine. The program is a response to the shocking reality that the survival of millions of Africa’s rural population boils down to access to basic healthcare. In collaboration with local volunteers and non-state actors, rR has created a ‘direct-to-the-citizen’ basis and strategy to deliver charitable assistance directly to those in need.

In July, seven doctors, one dentist and several medical students will travel to Nigeria to provide free medical care to those in rural areas. In the past, Rural Redemptions Medical Missions have offered healthcare services at a one-day health fair. At this year’s fair, Rural Redemptions will work with Rural Redemptions Nigeria, Multicare Medical Clinics Nigeria, the Ministry of Health and the Peace Corps volunteers to perform blood pressure & blood sugar screening, adult & pediatric doctor visits, health education, dental services, home visits and rapid HIV tests.

In addition to the fair, the organization is working with Multicare Medical Clinics Nigeria to expand the medical services available to Nigeria’s rural communities, and the team is excited to spend time in these areas as they begin to provide more frequent care. They anticipate treating about 3,000 patients at the various clinic sites for a wide variety of medical conditions as well as providing comprehensive dental services to some.

The team takes along all of the equipment and medicines required for the free diagnosis, treatment, surgery and sundry management of patients. At this time, the organization is purchasing vital medicines and medical equipment used to treat conditions including malaria, typhoid fever, diarrhea and high blood pressure, among others. The team hopes to receive some of these supplies through donations, and is calling for contributions of any amount to make the trip a success.

Other rR initiatives in Africa include the encouragement of indigenous knowledge skills to create environments where people can be self-reliant as well as pro-poor-direct-impact health care and mass literacy services through educational outreaches. Rural Redemptions also works to improve gender equality in Africa and encourages the establishment of community-based organizations to carry forward its efforts in fighting maternal and infant mortality, malaria, HIV/AIDS, illiteracy and endemic poverty.

Recognized internationally as a credible non-profit organization and a key platform to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainability, rR established and currently manages a large scale ‘Indigenous Knowledge Skills Centre’ in Inyi — the FGN Cultural Industry Centre for the Promotion of Pottery, Raffia, Wood and Other Crafts — and the FGN Technology Centre (RITC) in Inyi, a solar-energy powered e-learning library/center with 20 desktop computers where the rural poor receive computer literacy, online civic education and mass literacy training. Apart from seeking partnerships for e-commerce platforms for the benefit of the rural craftsmen and women, rR accepts computer donations and other hard/software/auxiliary items to further expand, develop and provide more access in this RITC.

Rural Redemptions is also helping the poorest families in Nigeria put their farmlands to better use and yield by providing improved seedlings, mechanization and irrigation techniques through the “My Farmland Works for Me” (MYFWOM) agricultural program. Rural Redemptions has introduced ‘MYFWOM Micro Finance’ into the projects where, in some cases, bartering part of the crop yield is used to pay for these extension services. Under MYFWOM Micro Finance, rR also ensures the buying-up of the harvests at prime open market prices, thus guaranteeing an ever-present market for farmers under its scheme. In the end, these rural families have more crops to sell and improve their income and their capacity to pay for their childrens' school fees and other needs, while rR applies its own crop share towards the redemption and assistance of more rural farming families in a multiplier revolving and nonprofit manner.

Spread the word and support Rural Redemptions' causes. There are many ways to get involved:

Donate to the cause — Rural Redemptions humanitarian relief effort and Medical Missions are funded by your donations. Donations go towards the purchase of medicines, medical diagnostic equipment food and emergency shelters. Rural Redemptions also accepts other kinds of donations and is in particular need of medicines and medical supplies. Rural Redemptions organization is a registered Non-profit 501(c)3 ), so all donations are tax deductible.

Join the cause as a volunteer — The organization depends on teachers, community volunteers, church volunteers and medical student volunteers to participate in programs locally and abroad.

Become a partner — In addition to help from individual volunteers, Rural Redemptions needs the support of businesses, companies and other organizations.

To donate, volunteer or become a partner, complete the online form, call (360) 836-0944 or email info@ruralredemptions.org. If you’re a health care professional interested in joining the Medical Missions team, e-mail the chief medical officer at sylvia@ruralredemptions.org.

 

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