According to the UN (2020) the overall access to essential health services from the year 2000 to 2017 was the strongest increase in low income communities . However, health services in low income countries still remain below coverage than in wealthier ones.

Medical outreach in underserved communities can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the people living there. From providing access to medical care, health education, and resources, to preventing and treating diseases, medical outreaches improve overall health outcomes, and reduce health disparities within underserved communities . It can also help to build trust between healthcare providers and the community, by referring and linking people living in the community to the health care centres around them . These efforts can  further lead to increased utilisation of healthcare services but at affordable rates. In the long run improving the overall health outcomes of people living in these communities.

Medical outreach is part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) mandate to improve health care services in Nigeria, through bringing health services to the people.

In underserved communities, people  who would not have ordinarily sought for  medical treatment as a result of several reasons,  get to see an opportunity for free consultation, and in the case of some outreach providers they even  go a step further to link community members with the nearest medical health facility where they can be monitored properly through the course of their treatments. 

From an outreach carried out in a community in Ogun state 70% of beneficiaries stated that if not for medical outreach carried out in in their communities they would not bother testing for malaria or typhoid but would rather self diagnose and treat malaria and typhoid themselves.  Through a sensitization carried out on the dangers of self diagnoses, they now better understand the harm of self diagnosing. It was also  discovered that  many were treating for malaria, meanwhile they displayed typhoid symptoms and upon testing so community members they tested positive for typhoid fever. 

Medical outreach also helps in uncovering and treating communicable diseases within underserved communities. 

Testing for STD’s/STI’s have brought over 2 million people in Nigeria to the knowledge of  their HIV status. This normally would not have been achieved by just the health care centres alone.

In the recent  medical outreach carried out by the Restored Heart Foundation in Gwarimpa community Abuja, some findings after conducting thorough screenings and diagnostic tests identified various health conditions among the community members. It was discovered that there was a high prevalence of STD’s among men, however all 189 community members tested negative for HIV. 

By bringing health care services closer to the people at no cost it  provides and extends the reach of health care to more people. Letting them know their health status and by doing so educating them on the need to take matters of their health more seriously, especially for community members who feel regular health check ups at the hospitals are unnecessary and mostly expensive. Some medical outreach programs even offer subsidised health fees for registered residents who may frequent the  government hospitals in their locality. All these measures put in place to ensure health services are closer to the people who need them

Medical outreach help share culturally appropriate health education, provide informal counselling and social support, act  as advocates and connect people to services, supporting ongoing disease self-management skills. By reducing the gap in access to affordable health care services it further improves the  health status and wellbeing  of people living in these underserved communities, thereby promoting healthy living and ensuring good health and wellbeing for all.


  1. Primary Health Care: Now More Than Ever:
  2. UN:Health –
  3. Emmanuel Osemota Foundation Medical Outreach:
  4. The Restored Heart Foundation, Medical Outreach Report April 2023:

Vanessa Akeplan 

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning Unit

The Restored Heart Foundation

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