Thank you for visiting the blog for Ipaja Community Link (ICL), a small community-based organisation in Lagos, Nigeria, working towards creating a prosperous, healthy and empowered community in Ipaja.

The main activities of ICL are:
- skills vocational training for women and young people in basic cooking, sewing and bead-making
- youth and community volunteering
- community health education, awareness and support
- community care initiatives

ICL specifically aims to support and empower women, people living with HIV/AIDs, young people, and orphans and vulnerable children.

The following information is representative of the work of ICL and reflects the views of staff, volunteers and those that ICL are working with.

ICL is working hard to make poverty a thing of the past in Ipaja - no one in the community is asking for a handout; they are simply looking for ways to make their lives better, to provide for their families and to secure their future. For more information, please call 0702 969 8523, 0706 155 0665 or 0705 636 9269 (or add +234 if calling from the UK) or email icl@difn.org.uk.

Please read on... (and here's a tip: it might be best if you read from the bottom, for older posts, to the top, for newer posts)...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Volunteering with the local mother and baby clinic: Ipaja Community Health Foundation

Ipaja Community Health Foundation was started in 1995 by Mrs Oshodi and Mrs Awolola, two retired nurses from Lagos State Teaching Hospital. The small community-based organisation in Akinyele, Ipaja, is run by over 25 local volunteers - mostly retired and elderly women from the surrounding community. The older volunteers have now been joined by younger ones as youth volunteers on ICL's youth volunteer programme volunteer their time two mornings a week at the mother and baby clinic. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, between 09.30 and 12.30, around 30-40 mothers from the local villages around Ipaja town bring their babies for vaccinations. Between January and December last year, almost 6,000 vaccinations - against Polio, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus), Measles and Yellow Fever - were given by trained nurses at the clinic. As well as running the twice-weekly clinic, the volunteers, along with community health workers and nurses, rent a bus once a month and go into the surrounding villages to raise awareness of general healthy living for mothers and to give mobile vaccinations - once the babies have received their initial dose of vaccine, they then go to the clinic for the four remaining vaccinations.

When Ipaja Community Health Foundation started almost fifteen years ago, the clinic used to rely on donations so the vaccinations used to be free. However, the lack of funds now means that the mothers are charged a small amount to vaccinate their babies - each vaccination costs around N30-50 (14-23p). This is considerably less, however, than if mothers took their babies to a local private hospital where one vaccination could cost anything between N1,500-2,000 (£6.80-£9.10). Vaccinations are given free at the local government in Ayobo/Ipaja, but there are hundreds of mothers a day at their Monday-Thursday clinic and many will leave without their babies being seen unless they arrive very very early. So, the volunteers at the mother and baby clinic are working hard to assist the local government with the delivery of essential vaccinations.

Ipaja Community Link is working alongside Ipaja Community Health Foundation to ensure that this service to the mothers of the community continues - firstly, through the help of our youth volunteers who assist with registrations, weighing the babies, recording vaccinations and arranging subsequent appointments and helping to clear up at the end; and secondly, through a local fundraising initiative to raise money to help fund the vaccinations or to find people in the community who are willing to donate items for the clinic, such as syringes, cotton wool, extra tables and plastic dispensing bottles. For more information about this project, please contact ICL using the contact details above or below.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to all graduates. I wish you all the success in the world. Please do not forget ICL and come back and help others achieve what you have done.

    Ade Fashade