Local opthalmologist, Leroy W. Vaughn, M.D., traveled with the Anambra State Association (ASA), USA Medical Mission to Nigeria, Aug. 8-23.
Assisted by his medical staff, Dr. Vaughn along with physicians, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, social workers and other medically affiliated professions, freely offered their expertise in Anambra and other Ibo states.
Vaughn received a generous amount of medical supplies from pharmaceutical representatives and performed many cataract surgeries, examined and treated hundreds of patients with every imaginable eye disease in this poor, underprivileged and underserved area.
"My first trip to Nigeria was unbelievable. The little hut for the clinic was empty, had dirt floors and no electricity. We used the medical supplies we brought with us and I taped a flash light to a helmet to use for surgery," said Vaughn. "Sponsors since then have purchased a microscope and a generator. They have no medical supplies, so we solicit them from pharmaceutical companies and we are happy to say they are happy to assist us in this endeavor."
John Obegolu, senior medical coordinator of this group, said, "ASA USA Medical Mission is a group of clinicians and other professionals who came together and decided that something had to be done about the despair, hopelessness and many untimely and unexplainable deaths in that area.
"They have consistently visited Anambra State in the past to provide free medical care to thousands, performed hundreds of surgeries, restored sights, provided tons of medications, counseled and provided free gynecological exams to the women, some of whom were abused. They treated many people suffering from hypertension, diabetics, gastrointestinal diseases and those disowned by their families and towns because of their HIV or AIDS infections," stated Obegolu.
He continued, "Dr. Vaughn performed numerous eyes surgeries. Tons of medications and reading glasses were dispensed. He single-handedly facilitated the donation of more than $200,000 worth of glaucoma, anti-inflammatory, allergy, anti-infective eye medications toward this medical mission to Anambra, as he has done in previous medical missions.
"Drs. Udo, Anago and the rest of the team performed surgeries and saw men and women for fertility issues and children with growth abnormalities. The group was overwhelmed by the crowd of people who lined up to be seen from dawn to dusk. Many saw doctors for the first time.
"We saw more people, visited other towns and dispensed three months supply of drugs instead of a month's, and also introduced a new line of service -prostate screening and treatment," added the senior medical coordinator.