Approximately 100 families and individuals affected by leprosy received vital support through a free medical outreach organized by God’s Love Ministries in collaboration with The Fount of Love Foundation at the Alabarago Lepers’ Community in Ojo, Lagos over the weekend.
This significant intervention marked the first of its kind for the community, which is home to marginalized citizens grappling with illnesses and malnourishment. Despite its close proximity to Alaba International Market, Africa’s largest electronics market, the lepers’ community has struggled with poverty and inadequate access to healthcare.
A dedicated team of doctors led by Pastor Maria Olatunji, the Coordinator of God’s Care Ministries, provided medical care, essential drugs, food items, and personal protective equipment to the residents.
During an interview with journalists at the outreach, Pastor Maria Olatunji emphasized that the initiative aimed to demonstrate compassion and address the urgent healthcare needs of a vulnerable population.
“We wanted to help people who have nothing to give in return. When I heard about this lepers’ community, I was deeply concerned, even though I was not in the country at the time. I made it my mission to visit this community at the next opportunity I had in Nigeria.”
Olatunji further called on the business community, local government, and nearby residents to support the lepers and attend to their needs. She expressed disappointment that these marginalized citizens lived amidst the thriving Alaba market without adequate care or attention.
“Alaba International Market is a billion-dollar market, and it is disheartening that a neighboring lepers’ community is neglected. The business moguls in Alaba could contribute to improving the welfare of these residents with their wealth,” she urged.
In addition, Olatunji highlighted the potential health and environmental threats that the lepers’ community posed to the Alaba market and surrounding areas, emphasizing the importance of addressing their basic needs and living conditions.
Mrs. Shola Onyekweli, the Founder of The Fount of Love Foundation, revealed her organization’s decade-long commitment to assisting the lepers’ community. She explained that they had constructed a borehole and provided generators to address water supply challenges in the community.
Onyekweli, emphasizing the need for broader support, expressed the aim of empowering the community through various initiatives. These included offering grinding machines, perfumes, and other items to enable residents to earn income, fostering a culture of value addition and entrepreneurship.
The Head of the Medical Team, Dr. Gift Osakue, shared observations from the medical checks conducted during the outreach. He noted that many residents had multiple infections and ailments. In addition to leprosy, the community’s unsanitary living conditions contributed to residents’ health issues, including malnourishment and skin infections, particularly among children.
Dr. Osakue emphasized the need for government intervention to provide proper medication for lepers and improve healthcare access for the residents.
This compassionate initiative demonstrates the commitment of organizations and individuals to address the immediate healthcare and humanitarian needs of marginalized communities in Nigeria.