One of the joys of Melibee Global is that I get to connect with really incredible people around the world. Recently, I was contacted by Olugu Ukpai, a father, husband, PhD student and activist. You may recall that I referenced him in a piece on the challenges of traveling as a Nigerian after the attempted plane bombing over Detroit (US) last December.
In our conversation, Olugu shared that he and his wife, Esther, have a much bigger challenge. They lost one of their precious twin daughters to malaria in 2006. Their fourteen month old baby girl, Goodness, was in the hospital for a week and then passed. Needless to say, Esther and Olugu were beyond inconsolable. After much soul searching and trusting their faith, they chose to honor her life by forming CHAMA: Challenge Malaria in Africa.
According to Olugu, “CHAMA is a Canadian charity that provides health care in rural African villages. CHAMA concentrates on malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malnutrition even though you cannot really draw a hard line to exclude maternal, child and infant health, female reproductive health and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) because they are all inter-related. CHAMA provides free accommodation, feeding, and security for volunteer doctors, nurses, and all others involved throughout the duration of their mission trip. We have well-equipped hospitals for use by our volunteer doctors.”
How can Melibee Global readers help? CHAMA is looking for a University health program to partner with CHAMA to help raise funds and materials for:
(a) HIV/AIDS education, anti-retro viral drugs and malaria drugs.
(b) Volunteer doctors (all fields) to help in our African health care missions in proving treatment, surgery, trainings for local nurses/doctors and counseling for long term health care for seniors.
(c) Building and running of a local hospital for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria specialist clinic.
(d) Providing HIV/AIDS home test kits. About 98% of rural people don’t know their status and teenage pregnancy is very high.
(e) Providing nutritious food for the orphans and seniors we care for.
(f) We are also looking for medical students carrying out research in any aspect of health care to partner with us or in form of a final year project on any aspect of health care in Africa.
(g) Drilling water well to provide clean and safe drinking water. CHAMA’s field data shows that 80% of all illness seen in rural sub-Sahara are caused by unsafe drinking water.
(h) Scholarships, school and educational supplies (used books and computers, etc), and volunteer teachers to share western educational experience with the children.
If you or your university/community are interested in partnering with CHAMA, please contact:
Olugu Ukpai, Founder/CEO, CHAMA
email: [email protected]
Please visit CHAMA’s Facebook page to learn more about the organization and for information about their October 16th fundraiser at the Faith Tabernacle Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada). (More information about this event is available on their Facebook page.)