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In celebration of her third anniversary, PISTIS Foundation (PF), a non-profit, social enterprise vehicle, held a ‘Walk for Hernia’ on Saturday 9th October 2021 to raise awareness on an ailment that is often left untreated, particularly in men.
The health walk, a statement said, was done to commemorate the World Walk Day and also to create awareness for the second edition of PF’s flagship, annual medical outreach, known as UBOMI.
PISTIS Foundation was established to be a model provider of empowerment opportunities for the economically challenged in targeted communities. The foundation’s mission is to create wealth for the economically challenged and support for their total well-being and this is achieved through Education, Health and Shelter programmes, as key focus areas.
UBOMI 1.0 impacted the lives of 3695 economically challenged people and successfully conducted over 240 free surgeries with a total of 7335 interventions within a one-week period. The weeklong project also played host to about 250 volunteers, including renowned medical practitioners from different parts of the country.
Data garnered from UBOMI 1.0 clearly showed that about 27% of patients successfully operated upon were those with ‘Hernia cases’ alone, in comparison to patients with cases like Appendicitis, Lipomas, Breast lumps, et al. It became evident that this condition was a growing concern hence the resolve to create the needed awareness on ways to prevent/ mitigate hernias.
As the foundation turned 3 years on 10th October, 2021, a line-up of activities was put in place to commemorate the event. One of such events is UBOMI 2.0, this time, with primary focus on hernia and fibroid interventions.
According to the General Manager, Mr. Leonard F. Thomas, ‘UBOMI 2.0 which was postponed in 2020, due to the covid-19 pandemic, will now hold via teleconsultation first (in a bid to maintain strict covid-19 protocols), and will be in collaboration with the Benjamin Olowojebutu Foundation, Pealon Hospital and Chion Hospital. Shortlisted beneficiaries will be notified appropriately, on the screening and surgery details for the outreach.
The Walk for Hernia which was a forerunner to the outreach, had about 90 participants in attendance, alongside its founder and Board Chair, Godman Akinlabi, as well as the management team of the Foundation. The event was supported by Lagoon Hospitals, Coca-Cola Nigeria and Treepz Incorporated and flyers were distributed along the way to sensitize the public on the symptoms of hernia and prevention tips. A webinar on “All about Hernia” was also held in September, to further promote awareness on the subject.
In her 3 years, PISTIS Foundation has provided scholarships to over 50 students across primary, secondary and tertiary levels, covering the cost of their education, with over 45 of them as long-term benefactors of the program. This has largely been achieved with the unwavering support of the foundation’s individual and institutional partners including partner schools such as Chalcedony Schools, Pedrisi Schools, Genesis Schools, Living Fountain School, Pleasanton School and Excelling Schools for Great Kids, to mention a few.
As part of her 3rd year anniversary activities and the recently celebrated World Teachers’ Day, strategic visits were made to appreciate the management teams of these schools, celebrate their teachers and interact with the foundations’ scholars who attend these schools.
The Shelter arm of the Foundation also recently launched its pilot phase of a Kids Off the Streets (KOTS) home, with the support of the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Development. KOTS is a programme designed to rehabilitate homeless/street kids and successfully reintegrate them back into society. The 22-bed fully equipped shelter is staffed with trained personnel and became home to its first set of beneficiaries in June this year. In addition to daily feeding, clothing, nurturing and housing these kids, the foundation provides full educational scholarships and healthcare for them. The KOTS vision was borne out of the growing situation of homeless children within the foundations’ target communities in Lagos, and is driven through strategic collaboration with established individuals and institutions with shared ideologies, willing to invest in a better Nigeria.
Amongst other notable feats of PISTIS foundation in 3 years, is the distribution of over 6000 food bags to vulnerable and economically challenged households (during the covid-19 lock down in 2020), totaling over 120,000 meals distributed across 20 Local Government Areas in Lagos.
Today, its food bank has provided over 142,910 food bags to economically challenged families, distributed 500 mosquito nets, trained 103 teachers, sponsored 875 dental procedures, dispensed 504 free eye glasses, trained over 2000 persons on health promotions, provided grants to both qualified individuals and institutional partners to mention but a few. Congratulations to the entire board, management, partners and team members of PISTIS Foundation on her third anniversary.