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MEDICAL OUTREACH TO GAMPU, TARABA STATE

“If we are rich and see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we claim
that we love God? My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true
love, which shows itself in actions.” 1 John 3:17-18

CBN Nigeria took free medical services to Gampu Community, Yorro Local Government Area,
Taraba State from the 23rd to 27th of February, 2017. The medical services were provided in
partnership with Angel Flights Club (AFC), and with the support of Evangelical Mission Society
(EMS of ECWA).

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The initial plan was to reach out to a community called Donkin on Mambila Plateau. Angel
Flights Club was to fly volunteers from Abuja to Donkin (about 5,000 feet above sea level), in
North-Eastern Nigeria. The journey from Abuja to Jalingo took about 12 hours by road. From the
foot of the mountain to the community is about 9 hours on foot for fast pace and experienced
walkers. There are only footpaths to the top of the mountain where the community is located.
Angel Flights Club, a mission aviation organization provided the aircraft which was to take the
volunteers up the mountain from Jalingo airport in about 25mins flight time. However, the pilot
could not land with the first batch of volunteers at the donkin airstrip and returned to Jalingo.

This development did not dampen the spirit of the volunteers, who immediately took off by road
to the foot of Donkin Hills to reach out to another community there called Gampu. Getting to
Gampu community took 4 hours of driving through rugged terrain, dried up streams, river
routes, valleys and very rocky pathways; In spite of all the obstacles and vehicle flat tire the team
made it there in one piece to the glory of God.

This medical outreach was the first of its kind to the Gampu community which had no form of
basic health facility besides a depilated, dysfunctional, dispensary that did not have a single table
to carry out a simple medical procedure. The team had to make use of an uncompleted church
building and spent several hours cleaning the dispensary for the 7 minor procedures carried out.
The lack of a good source of water was a serious challenge in the community; it was so bad and
critical that the volunteers were unable to find clean water to bath all through the 36 hours of stay
in the community. However, none of these deterred our team from executing our mission. A total
of 491 people benefited from the various services rendered. The major health challenges isolated
and treated were water related diseases such as a suspected case of Onchocerciasis (River
Blindness – caused by the parasitic worm, Onchocerca Volvus), Tenia Pedis (athlete’s foot – a
fungal infection), Worms, Skin Diseases and Typhoid Fever. Other conditions discovered
included Arthritis, Haematuria, Cough and several other cases of infectious diseases.

One interesting thing that happened during the outreach was the emergence of a number of
people from Donkin Hills, the people the mission was originally planned for. These people had
to walk 9 to 10 hours down the mountain to access the free medical care. It was so touching
seeing people with such desperation coming all the way to seek help. God definitely orchestrates
everything, even our so-called mistakes, disappointments, and accidents for the good of those
who love Him (Romans 8:28). The decision to go all the way to the foot of the mountain
definitely paid off more!

The Head of the community, Mallam Isah Yakubu, was more than glad to receive us. According
to him, our coming was divinely arranged because of him. He had been suffering with an
infectious disease called Anal Fistula that needed immediate surgical intervention but had
ignorantly been depending on native treatment as the only remedy. He was taken in immediately
for surgery, to relief him of his pains. He thanked CBN, EMS and AFC for coming to his aid
right at home without long hospital protocols, financial burden, and the stress of traveling several
hours to Jalingo or Yola for surgery.

The EMS area coordinator for Taraba state who led the team to the community appreciated the
sacrifice the team went through to get there. According to him, the medical mission has opened a
great door of evangelism to the community. The sacrifice the team made to come all the way
from Abuja to the community is similar to what early missionary went through to bring the
gospel to some parts of Nigeria. He called it “a practical demonstration of God’s Love to the
community.”

The joint medical mission with AFC is an opportunity that will lift CBN free medical offering to
a new level. In the nearest future this will make medical missions to once inaccessible
communities by road and water become a possibility.

Our gratitude goes to God and our generous partners without whom none of these would have
been possible. God bless you all abundantly!

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