Ukaigwe Health Empowerment and Learning (UHEAL) Charities is a non-profit, non governmental organization (NGO) managed by individual with interests common in the welfare of others. UHEAL recognized poverty as a determinant of health and aligned its programs with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG # 1 – end extreme poverty and # 3- ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages) by 2030. As health and poverty are closely related, UHEAL Community Initiatives aim to improve the health of individuals who live in remote villages in Nigeria through screening, treatment and education. We give the rural dwellers access to preventive health care, treat and refer out when necessary all at no cost. We target the poorest of the poor, orphans, widows and widowers in the villages. We begin each outreach event with praise and worship, exposition of the Word and health education. Then we screen and treat participants for conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, malaria, infections etc. In addition, we do eye exams, give reading and prescription glasses and refer individuals who need further care to specialists for expert management.
UHEAL partners with local clinics, and hospitals and gets its volunteer healthcare providers (nurses and doctors) from these institutions. In regards to patient teaching, UHEAL provides scientific health information on diseases making the participants see issues relevant to their well-being and thus helping them make healthy choices – food, life style habits and self-care.
In order to escape poverty, one has to be employed. UHEAL help individuals displaced by the activities of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria who are in the villages and have no source of income restart their means of livelihood by providing food and petty cash for trading.
Some other specific activities of UHEAL include the following:
• Training of nurses to update their knowledge to strengthen their skills and capacities.
• Supporting rural health care centers in Nigeria by donating supplies such as blood pressure machines medication from the community outreach events.
• Creating health care awareness for the rural population through education.
• Caring for the internally displaced persons outside the camps who live in the villages with friends and relatives.
• Donating current edition books and instructional materials to schools of nursing in Nigeria and Ghana.
• Giving scholarships to young women to obtain professional education such as in the field of nursing, medicine or teacher education.
Financial resources of the organization are through individual funds, donations, event ticket sale proceeds and grants.
The Leader of the Organization
Patricia Ukaigwe is a Nigerian Diaspora Healthcare Professional and CEO of UHEAL Organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctoral Degree in Nursing and dual National Certifications as a Pediatric Nurse and Nurse Educator. As the CEO of UHEAL, she coordinates health and education mission trips to Nigeria aimed to empower individuals and improve population health through education. Her research focus is on the special health needs of the vulnerable population especially individuals with chronic illness. Dr. Ukaigwe developed the Master of Science in Nursing Curriculum for Central University, Tema, Ghana and established the partnerships between Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) and University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Nigeria to train nurse faculty in sub-Sahara Africa. In addition, Dr. Ukaigwe is a Maternal Child Health Fellow of the West African College of Nursing and Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow. She represented FDU in the Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), and has received several awards for service and professional activities.