Gede's Founder, Dr Jennifer Douglas- Abubakar, Board of Directors and Staff members, welcome Kirsty Smith in Nigeria

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CBM UK, Kirsty Smith visited Gede Foundation  on November 5, 2018, accompanied by CBM’s country representative, Mr. Samuel Omoi. Kirsty was interested in seeing how community mental health projects work and how exactly Gede is making it work. 

The  team, comprising Gede and CBM  staff  visited  one of Gede’s Community Mental Health and Development Project sites in Mpape at the Primary Health Centre, to interact with  healthcare workers and  project beneficiaries. Gede, with support from BasicNeeds UK and USA  is helping  to build  support groups of people with mental illness, epilepsy and their carers. The beneficiaries of the SHG as well as health workers were present at the meet and greet, which took place at the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC). The services users and carers detailed how the programme has benefitted them and their communities. They informed Kirsty about the stigma related issues they faced in the past and how they have been able to overcome them. They further noted that as a support group, they help each other out especially as it relates to medication. They make contributions and help each other out. 

The Team moved to Karu Behaviour Medicine Unit, a secondary health facility where treatment, care and rehabilitation are provided to users. At Karu, the head of the behavioural unit, Dr Daramola, explained the relationship that is existing between Gede and the facility, where indigents patients are benefiting from the treatment costs supported through the project. Dr. Daramola explained the type of help they provide to Gede Foundation beneficiaries but noted that at the moment, they are not privy to bed space. This means that while they can get treated (medicine and therapy), they cannot be admitted to the hospital. Dr. Daramola explained that they are building more bed spaces and with time, more patients can be admitted for close monitoring as the need arises.  Kirsty asked about the gender distribution of in and out patients at the facility. Dr. Daramola responded that the facility has more male patients owing to substance abuse being higher among the men, compared to the women. 

The visit ended with hopes of working together on similar projects in the future. As always, check back to find out more exciting news!