Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 10, 2014

Portsmouth Ambulance, doctor support Nigerian health mission

Staff report
The Independent

Portsmouth — The relationship between a patient and an ambulance is a simple one. The ambulance delivers the patient to a doctor. Less common is the process for which the physician delivers the ambulance to the patients. Nonetheless, that is part of what Peace Jessa did on a recent trip to Nigeria.  

She delivered a well-equipped ambulance, which was donated by Portsmouth Ambulance to Grace Project International, a nonprofit organization based in the United States that conducts medical missions to rural areas in Nigeria.

The donation was important because of how rare ambulance services are in the area. In Nigeria, it is common for those in need of medical care to simply be loaded into the backseat of a car and transported to a medical facility.

“Sometimes, they are even taken in wheelbarrows, motorcycles or bicycles especially in the rural areas,” Jessa said.

Every year in Nigeria nearly one million children under the age of five die from preventable diseases. The level of need in the rural areas is remarkable and the ambulance donation will save lives — not only by transporting patients to hospitals and healthcare facilities, but also moving and delivering supplies. The ambulance can even be used as an examination room.

“I am fortunate to have had the support of so many wonderful people,” Jessa said. “I cannot express enough how much this means to me, and I am deeply grateful to Mike and Trina Adkins at Portsmouth Ambulance, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Heartland of Portsmouth, Genesis HealthCare of Portsmouth and numerous others who donated generously to make the mission trip possible.”

 Jessa is board certified in Occupational-Environmental Medicine. To schedule an appointment, call (740) 356-7685. For more information, visit somc.org or like SOMC on Facebook at facebook.com/SouthernOhioMedicalCenter.