The Chris Oyakhilome International Foundation (COFI) was represented at the UN High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on Universal Health Coverage which took place on 23 September 2019. It was a great opportunity for all Universal Health Coverage (UHC) experts and practitioners to make their voices heard. As COFI’s partner the Trauma Care International Foundation (TCIF) has consultative status it was invited to participate.
The purpose of the HLM was to discuss Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The theme was “Moving Together to Build a Healthier World,” and the TCFI is an NGO that believes that:-
“Every person deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare services. Healthcare services in impoverished communities are generally considered to be poor and insufficient. Medical facilities struggle to deliver essential health services due to inadequate service providers and shortages of supplies.”
This aim is channeled through partner organization TCIF. Esteemed Senior Executive Officer, Dr. Olajumoke Akisanya was the advocate for Chris Oyakhilome’s work in this area. It’s initiatives go a long way to meeting the United Nations’ aim of improving global access to Universal Health Cover. It’s impressive record helps mobilize high-level political attention globally especially in the countries that need it. This is done through advocacy and discussion.
There are many components that will eventually lead to the UN’s goal of achieving UHC. The TCIF is a registered NGO that aims to improve trauma care through health education and outreach. When emergency responders are trained, the outcomes of accidents are significantly improved.
The Basic Emergency Response Training or BERT program trains emergency care, traffic management, and law enforcement officials as skilled ‘First Responders’ who can administer first aid, resuscitate casualties, evacuate and transport them properly to the hospital. This will go along way to improving the care that casualties receive and establishing an
“ inclusive social accountability mechanisms for all parts of the health system so that everyone is responsible for progress toward UHC”.
This message of Universal Health Coverage For All means that everyone will eventually have access to the health services they need and not just in an emergency. At TCFI they have been reaching out to many communities in Nigeria with free medical screenings and outpatient consultations, treatments for malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition. So, not only does this include health advocacy but disease prevention as well. It does not matter what your socioeconomic status is because “all” is an inclusive term and furthermore this program is called “Health For All”.
In some areas, hygiene and health care messages are needed to be heard. Most recently, dentist, Dr. Derin Omotuyole published as a series of tips on oral hygiene and dental care. We can often take the most basic of information for granted but without education, progress will not be as effective.
Where does education start? With the children of course. TCFI’s Child Safety Awareness Campaign has contributed to safer schools, reduced incidence of childhood injuries at home and improved knowledge of safety. The work and influence of Chris Oyakhilome and is already contributing to the UN’s goal of improving:-
“health literacy, legal and systems literacy and capacity for health decision-making by focusing on prevention, appropriate technology and a multisectoral approach at the local level, including addressing all determinants of health”.
One of the staples for health care is to have a supply of basic materials. TCFI provides communities with many things but there is one commodity that has to be provided by the community. So, the annual blood drive formed the basis for a database of local blood donation volunteers. According to the World Health Organization should be obtained only from willing, unpaid voluntary blood donors. TCIF set a World Record with the most amount of people signing up during an eight hour period. Well done to the people of Lagos, Nigeria.
In order to expand the good work that Chris Oyakhilome is doing another partner project of COFI is also working towards UCH. The Volunteer Medical Corps (VMC) is mobilizing an army of volunteers who will enable communities to
“establish resilient, responsive and inclusive health systems that are accessible to all, irrespective of socio-economic or legal status, health condition or any other factors. “
This is the agenda of UHC and the VMC already has a mission to provide the best, most suitable and sustainable medical care to communities in need. They are committed to providing medical, surgical, dental and other forms of specialist care including diagnostic and screening services which will greatly benefit in impoverished communities.
According to the WHO, at least half the world cannot access medical care because they simply cannot afford it. With volunteer organizations like the VMC they can support and strengthen existing health care systems through training, and provision of sustainable health care and humanitarian solutions.
Through the vision of Man of God, Chris Oyakhilome, the partners of COFI are on a road to helping the UN achieve Universal Health Care for All. If you would like to donate to this wonderful and uplifting cause, visit the website here and help further the work of the Trauma Care International Foundation.
You may be interested in volunteering your services. Click here to find out about the achievements and mission of the VMC.
The UN has set targets to be achieved by 2023. There are many milestones to cover and COFI and its partners are clearly working effectively in promoting these aims in all of its outreaches. If UHC is to be realized by 2030 then Chris Okyhilome is leading a path to help the vision.