Aderonke Rene Ahmed is the Founder of Visit a hospital Today foundation. Lagos, Nigeria. She’s very passionate about helping people and impacting lives. Her very deep empathy towards human well being led her to get involved in charity work. She’s volunteered with charities in England and the United States which empowered her to start this charity in Nigeria. She intends to help less privileged people stand a fighting chance against the harshness of the health care system in Nigeria. She is also a customer service expert with over 15 years experience. Her approach is love; she believes that asides people needing help, showing them love goes a long way.
Visit a Hospital Today Foundation is a non-profit organization whose focus is to relieve patients and their families of the financial burden that comes with laborious illnesses and health challenges. We target government hospitals that have patients are in the low socio-economic bracket in our society. Our aim is to help these patients with the medical bills and medications which they often cannot afford due to circumstances beyond their control. These visits occur monthly. Each month we have a specific group of patients we focus on.
Visit a Hospital Today Foundation has been able to reach at least 500 patients directly and help them with their medical bills which ultimately relieves the financial burdens on their families.
With the help of the designated social workers of our chosen hospital, we work hand in hand with them, to identify the patients who need our help. Some of the cases we come across are amputated children, burn victims, pregnant women, emergency cases, patients with health challenges. All our cases have one thing in common; patients who simply cannot afford to pay their bills or cannot afford medication. We have seen so many instances where life could have been saved if they had access to medications that cost as low as N3,000 naira. This is where we come in. We aim to relieve the burden and in the process save and improve the quality of lives. We are able to do this, thanks to our generous donors.
In addition to paying medical bills, we also take provisions generously donated to us along with us to the hospital visits. We work with the nurses to ensure that these are adequately distributed amongst patients. They also let us know which patients will need that little extra attention. These are usually patients that have been abandoned by the families. We are grateful for our progress and those who have helped us come this far, but we aim to do more. would like to grow, so we can help more individuals and save more lives. We would like to be the change we want to see in the Nigerian healthcare. Join us and help us improve the quality of life of these precious individuals, one breath at a time.
How It All Started
I had been visiting hospitals informally for a couple of years before I registered it as an official charity in 2015. I went with my ex-husband to the hospital a few years back to a government hospital. This was my first time visiting a government hospital after moving back to Nigeria.
I was incredibly surprised and disheartened to see that a lot of patients could not be attended to, due to their inability to pay medical bills or for medical tests which they so desperately needed. Right there and then I started paying for some medical bills from my personal funds. What was shocking about this was the fact that these funds would not have been considered a lot of money an individual who has a stable income and a good job. We are talking about funds such as N5,000 and N10,000.
I visited government hospitals for a few years on my own from time to time but realized this was not sustainable as I had other financial commitments. A friend then suggested to me to register a charity with the goal of visiting patients in the hospitals and paying their medical bills. Once I was able to do that I would be able to solicit for funds for the patients from the general public and shedding light on their predicament. I would also be able to get volunteers and people who believed in the same vision I had. This was the best decision I could have made for the charity, as it greatly expanded my reach. It was incredibly heartwarming to see that there were individuals who believed in my vision.
The Journey So Far
So far, the journey has been one of growth and increase. As time has passed we have learnt a lot and reached out to so many families with the belp of friends and volunteers. I have been wowed so many times by the support that has come our way and what we have been able to do with it
We had two significant challenges. The first was the emotional impact of being at the forefront of dealing with the patients. When you are confronted with the difficult situations people are faced with, it is hard. Especially children’s lives which are impacted forever due to recklessness or accidents, and have their suffering even more compounded by the fact their families cannot pay their medical bills.
Seeing their parents feeling so helpless, knowing they would literally do anything to spare their children that pain. That was definitely hard. But with the support of God, family, friends and volunteers, I have found the strength to continually persist. Knowing that what I do makes a massive difference in the lives of others.
The other greatest challenge was getting people to believe that we were legit and for real! Which is understandable given the context we live in. We have taken steps to publish our financial expenditures, receipts for payments made and willing to take on constructive feedback from concerned individuals to ensure that we are as transparent as possible.
My Greatest Achievement
My greatest achievement with Visit a Hospital Today Foundation has been bringing the plight of the patients to the social media conscious Nigerian population via our social media pages. The results have been mind-blowing. In doing this we have been able to raise life-changing funds which have made the most impossible situations for some families possible. We have changed lives because of this and for that, we are incredibly proud.
It has also been great to find that some people who did not trust us initially have now began to have trust in us because we stayed consistent, and provided receipts of payments made. We also welcomed more individuals to join us on our hospital visits to see us actually paying the bills. This has encouraged more people to support us.
The World Today
I feel we have made some positive changes with regards to gender equality today. It is good to see that some women occupy positions of importance, compared to a few years ago. However, we still have a while to go. I would love to see men and women being considered equal in the eyes of the law. Which unfortunately is not the case as at today.
I believe educating the children of today will make us have an incredible world today. If we teach the girl child to understand that she can use her voice, that she is of value and importance; that she can set her mind to do anything she sets her mind to do…I believe this would literally change the world.
We welcome individuals to join us on our hospital visits to see us actually paying the bills. This will encourage us more and also people to trust and support us. You can also be a part of the cause and be a Volunteer. No amount is too small and no time sacrificed goes unappreciated.
Please visit our website visitahospitalfoundation.org and please click on Donations.
We look forward to having you onboard