by Ayo Dada
In the midst of the on goings in Nigeria in the past ten years, and worsening by the day, from fraud in high places, to unemployment, to lack of basic amenities, for example, power supply, inadequate water supply to no supply, to terrible infrastructure to mention but a few of our many problems to extreme poverty of the Nigerian majority and the terrible insecurity situation by the marauding Fulani Herdsmen in the country, caused by the inefficient, incompetent and nepotic leadership, it is heartening that we have have unsung heroes all over Nigeria, men and women who use their expertise in their profession to assist the poor and the downtrodden.
It is in this vain, that I introduce to you Mr. Taiwo Fasoranti, Pa Reuben Fasonranti’s, Afenifere’s Elder Statesman’s son.
He is the founder of Medical Initiative for Africa Abuja (MIFAA)
Their mission is to raise Awareness of Healthcare and The Importance of Taking Preventive Actions. Him and his partners are a group of healthcare professionals reaching out to poor communities through collaboration with individual Nigerians and corporate organizations.
Why They Do What They Do: Mr. Fasonranti simply gave their organizations mantra which is a quotation, “Giving to others blesses us in return with happiness, peace of mind and tranqulity.“ – Rashid Al Maktoum. This says a lot about these great Nigerians.
From behind their consulting rooms, they noticed an interesting but not a new trend within the communities they served. Many were poor and unenlightened about their choices when it came to their healthcare. They also realized that majority of their patients could not afford basic medical care and would not qualify for the basic National health Insurance scheme operated by the government. Also, realizing that the educated ones were very ignorant about preventive health care and hence would show up in the clinics or hospitals with severe forms of preventable health care challenges (Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Stroke, Diabetes and Complications etc) .Due to the humanitarian nature of Taiwo, he and his friends started the Non Governmental Organization to not only educate these less fortunate amongst us, but to treat and medicate thousands for free.
As with anything in life, their humanitarian work has it’s many challenges on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
The major challenges are in the areas of financing their activities. They have gotten by, mainly through the generosities of their volunteers (free time and money) and well-wishers. It has indeed been tough, but they have been able to touch lives, in their thousands. Also, the long running security challenges have limited their scope of activities. They put their lives on the line everyday by trying to avoid dangerous areas and which have limited their activities as they would love to do more. In the past, they had travelled all over the country, but now they are very cautious of their movements.
Their organization, Medical Initiative for Africa Abuja (MIFAA) have not received any financial support from the government. They raise funds as an organization and individually to execute their projects. Many religious and certain corporate organizations have been supportive. Despite the lack of financial support from the government, state or Federal, Taiwo and his friends have volunteered their services on numerous occasions to assist in carrying out government health related activities.
In the face of extreme difficulties in Nigeria, especially the insecurity that has ravaged the northern parts of Nigeria which has spread across the country, they have recorded amazing successes.
Over the past ten years, they have conducted free medical outreaches and interventions across Nigeria and reached out to millions around the globe through tele-medicine promoting health education. Their activities focus on interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality stemming from Communicable and Non-Communicable diseases.
- Their organization has donated free medications and medical consumables worth several millions of Naira to individuals and hospitals over the past ten years.
- Their team and volunteers have shown commitment in ensuring that government program on immunization is complied with to reduce disease burden in communities around Nigeria. (Polio eradication and Viral Hepatitis) were top on their list. They have also provided personnel to assist in ensuring compliance with the government policies on immunization.
- Vulnerable population especially the disabled and the elderly have also benefitted from their free medical services.
- Access to potable water in many communities has been a challenge; they have succeeded in sinking boreholes for many communities.
- They have also provided medical interventions through collaboration with the Nigerian Correction Facilities to ensure inmates have access to medical services.
- Their organization continues to work with numerous groups and well-meaning individuals to make available (Free) lifesaving medical equipments to identified facilities.
- MIFAA and many volunteers are actively involved in participating during disease outbreaks (Yellow Fever, HIV/AIDS, Ebola , Lassa Fever, and currently COVID 19 MASKUP9JA)
- They have developed a standing army of volunteers in all the 36 states of Nigeria and around Africa. Their volunteer members have continued to carry out their visions and goals in their communities.
- MIFAA continues to carry out deworming exercises for millions of children and adults.
- They have strived to bridge the gaps that exist between primary healthcare, secondary healthcare and tertiary healthcare centers through adequate identification of ailments and prompt referrals to these centers. This has reduced morbidity and mortality at these levels.
- Despite challenges in certain parts of their jurisdictions, they have reached out to numerous refugee camps to provide medical services at no cost to the Internally Displaced Persons.
Dr. Taiwo Fasonranti and friends will like to thank their donors and those who have been supportive of their noble cause from it’s inception up till today; hear him:
It has been Ten years of amazing activities by their team. A dream which started from more than a mere accident, but a deliberate and concerted effort at giving back to our world. “It was a dream conceived by myself (President) and our current Vice President Dr Ebuta Agbor”. “We were passionate about our patients and also we were worried about the healthcare challenges faced by our communities knowing fully well that government could not singularly meet these needs alone, so we had to step in and step up!”
They have cultivated some amazing partnerships across the nation and the world. The list is endless including but not limited to the following who continue to share our vision and goals. (Many have asked to be anonymous):
Rotary Club International Nigeria Abuja, Barrister and Mrs Obinna Okeke, When Women Pray International Ministries, Rashida Bello Foundation, Jewel Haven Initiative For Women and Children, Health Initiative For Rural Dwellers, RCCG, Sure Mercies Of David Parish, University Of Abuja Students Christian Medical Association, Taprobane Medical Center, Gods Heart-Beat Outreach Ministries.
Numerous Community leaders around our country (For encouraging our team as we reached out to their communities), Barbie Place Supermarket, Future Assured, Radio Nigeria, National Television Authority, Family care multi-clinics, Industrial training Fund, Philly Nigerian Professionals, Pharm Adekunle Tometi, Adetayo Adegoke Foundation, Islamic Society of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria(PSN),
Faz-Care Pharmaceuticals Nigeria, Barrister Joe Nwobike, Government College Ibadan Class of 75, Runcie Chidebe, Dr Femi Olaleye, Salvation Ministries International, Women Against Violence & Exploitation Foundation(WAVE) Mrs. Hanifa Mohammed, Raube Zaman.
MIFAA has conservatively touched millions of lives through our activities and lives have been changed. The willingness of our partners to donate finances and equipments in support of our work is laudable.
We would like to get more financial support from the federal government of Nigeria, and all well meaning Nigerians, so we can reach out to many more people. Running an organization such as ours requires a lot of funding and commitments, nothing is too small, every penny counts.
“It is important to thank God for the journey so far, being modest is our nature and yet I will not hesitate to quote from one of the biggest philanthropists that we know today, man I have come to adore and respect,” so says Taiwo; ‘’I do not like to boast nor do I say this to enhance my reputation. God alone knows my intentions. I say this to encourage others who have the means to help’’ – Rashid Al Maktoum
This in a nutshell represents the view of all of us at MIFAA.
Special thanks to our family members, our amazing board members :( Dr Agbor Ebuta (Vice President), Barrister Obinna Okeke, Mr Nta Ebuta, Pharm Kehinde Fasoranti, and Dr. Lucy Idaboh) our mentors, you guys have been a rock behind our dream allowing us to thrive in such a challenging environment.
For more on our activities you can check us out on;
Facebook @ (Medical Initiative For Africa Abuja) picture gallery !
For those interested in supporting our work, kindly donate to:
Account Information: Medical Initiative for Africa, Abuja
Acct Nos: 1015767074
Dr. Taiwo true to his nature and that of his friends would not like anyone to see them as heroes, but that is exactly what they are, going about doing good without noise or spotlight. MAY GOD BLESS THEM and theirs.
Please, let us support this noble cause with whatever we can afford, and if nothing, let us remember them in our prayers for their safety and continuing success in their fantastic humanitarian endeavor.