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, 30 September 2009

Community rallies together for Ipaja health awareness day...

On Tuesday 29th September, Ipaja Community Link (ICL), in conjunction with Agency for the Aged, Melvin Jones Primary Health Screening Foundation and Ijegun Community Health Foundation, organised a community health awareness day in Ipaja. Over 150 people came for free HIV screening, free breast cancer screening, and free blood pressure, weight and temperature tests. The event was held in the Baale of Baruwa's compound, the community leader of Ipaja, who endorsed the event by allowing the use of this compound and who also donated canopies, chairs and refreshments.

ICL has been working hard to collaborate with other NGOs focusing on similar issues, such as HIV and AIDS and maternal, infant and elderly health. This community health event on Tuesday brought together four NGOs and 16 volunteers from Ijegun Community Health Foundation and Melvin Jones Primary Health Screening Foundation to provide free testing for the community. Those in attendance were also able to pay just N500 (under £2) for blood sugar level testing and eye tests. ICL receives funding from Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) for a national volunteering programme. Last month, staff from Ipaja Community Link and the international volunteer with VSO visited Ijegun Community Health Foundation to talk to the community about the benefits of volunteering. The Foundation now has over 30 volunteer nurses providing services throughout Ijegun. 12 of these volunteer nurses assisted with the health day in Ipaja, alongside 4 volunteers from Melvin Jones.

During the event, 74 community members were received confidential HIV testing and counselling and 34 women were screened for breast cancer. Ipaja currently does not have an HIV and AIDS testing centre, although ICL are working alongside Ayobo-Ipaja local government and Lagos Sate AIDS Control Agency (LSACA) to ensure that a centre is established. Mercy Maxwell-Gii, ICL's HIV and AIDS Programme Manager, has met several times with the Medical Officer of the local government to this end. Within the next few weeks, Mercy will be providing counselling and testing for ICL's youth volunteers following basic awareness training with them earlier this month. The youth volunteers will also be trained as peer educators on HIV and AIDS following a model set by Ijegun Community Health Foundation.

For more information about ICL or any of our partner organisations, please do not hesitate to contact us at icl@difn.org.uk or on +234 (0) 809 678 3177 or +234 (0) 706 974 3615. With further financial support we would be able to run more outreach days like this, providing essential medical care to the community where the government are failing to deliver.

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