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How To Organise a Medical Outreach + Cost Implication

This post breaks down the process to organise a medical outreach. It is daunting to plan for a whole medical outreach and this post aims to demystify the process. Nothing helps you better than having a guideline from someone who has participated in more than 20 medical outreaches and has organised about three. I will be describing the process of organising a medical outreach from the medical perspective.

Some ground work needs to be done. This groundwork is better left to the organisation you are partnering with to carry out as they are more adept at doing this. It will be of immense benefit if this organisation is a religious one as they have a very good community penetration style and will go a long way in making it as hassle-free as possible.

Rationale for a medical outreach

A lot of people living in rural areas do not have access to healthcare and live long years of life with disabilities that could be easily corrected, or sometimes even die uneccesarily from easily diagnosable and treatable medical conditions.

You would be surprised that a village, just 1 hour drive from a city centre like Ibadan, does not have any form of access to healthcare in their communities and have to resort to untrained traditional birth attendants (TBA’s) to take their deliveries and/or use all kinds of herbs in treating whatever sicknesses they may have.

This is where well meaning citizens who have the money to facilitate an outreach come in. You try to do some gap bridging by providing short term high quality healthcare and health education to the community dwellers and refer the ones that have NCDs or require surgical care, you are unable to provide, to a nearby health facility.

Checklist to organise a medical outreach

  • Manpower
  • Medications
  • Medical Equipment/Consumables
  • Stationeries
  • Refreshment and transport for volunteers


To pass across my points in a really practical way, I will be describe organising a hypothetical medical outreach to a village 1 hr away from a city centre.

In this outreach, the population of the village is about 1000 and we are estimating to have a 30% turn out rate – 300 expected participants for the medical outreach. It will be a one-day outreach, where we arrive at 10 am, start to see patients at 10:15 am, and leave the village by 4 pm. A religious group has a crusade in this village and will be needing your medical services to add some medical value to the community. The religious group will do community penetration and will also prepare the indigenes for your arrival. The outreach is happening in two weeks.

The most important ingredient to carry out an outreach is financial backing as drugs and supplies are really costly. Also, you should have a plan for the left-over drugs. If you intend to be going on constant outreaches you may purchase your own medical equipment, if not, you may just rent them from a health facility close to you.

What we plan to do at the outreach/Work flow
  • Register them at a registration table and give them a consulting sheet
  • Measure their height and weight and compute the BMI
  • Measure their blood pressure
  • See a medical doctor for consultation and referral if necessary
  • Do lab tests (using point-of-care devices/Rapid Diagnostic Kits) such as blood sugar and malaria tests at the doctor’s discretion.
  • Dispense medications at the pharmacy and retrieve the consulting sheets.


Working with our expected number of participants (300) and work flow pattern we will be recruiting;

  • 2 volunteers for registration
  • 2 volunteers to measure the height and weight
  • 3 volunteers to measure the blood pressure (nurses/pre-trained medical students)
  • 6 volunteer medical doctors
  • 2 volunteer laboratory scientists
  • 3 volunteer pharmacists

An 18-seater bus will conveniently convey your volunteers to and from the outreach.


This is a really cost-intensive part. You need to have an idea of the drugs you want to offer. The most commonly prescribed drugs at medical outreaches are analgesics, antimalarials, and multivitamins in that order. The table below shows what proportions I suggest the medications for an outreach like ours should have:

Anti-ulcer agents2.5%
Others (Antidiabetics etc)2.5%

FYI: Most of them come for pain medications as they have one pain condition or the other, another group will get antimalarials for keeps sake and those who don’t seem to have any complaints but do not want to go empty-handed will get the multivitamins – this last group makes a very huge percentage of them.

Medical Instruments/Consumables

Items needed based on the workflow described above

Item (No)Unit Cost
Weighing scale (2)25005000
Glucometer strips (1 pck)45004500
Malaria RDT kit and buffer1 pckN/A
Facemasks (1 pck)20002000
Gloves (1pck)25002500
Cotton wool1000
Methylated spirit500
Hand sanitizers (7)3002100
Sharps Box1N/A
Sterile lancet100N/A
Total cost41800+x
Prices as at time of writing this article: 21/9/2020

Side Note: N/A means I do not know the prices. You could also rent some of the equipment like weighing scale and sphygmomanometers to significantly cut costs.


These are the items you will need to mark up places to direct participants and for writing things down.

ItemsNumber of pcs
Permanent Markers2
Ruled A4 paper for registration10
Consultation sheets (A5 sized)300
Referral sheets100
Tape rule2
Paper Tape2

NB: You need to ensure that there are tables and chairs for setting up your outreach and canopies if it will be open-air.

Refreshment and transport for volunteers

Make sure you get a comfortable transport for your volunteers and ensure you provide breakfast before the outreach starts and lunch at the end of the outreach. The breakfast should be filling enough to carry them through the outreach as some outings can be really draining and your volunteers may get worn out before the time you planned to conclude the outreach.


A lot of your participants-turned-patients will need to be referred to the closest hospital facility. Try to find a health center close-by and, if possible, get the phone numbers of the health workers there before commencing your outreach for ease of referral. Newly detected NCDs can’t be completely managed at the outreach and will benefit from a referral and the patients-to-be should clearly understand this.


Crowd control is very important and if improperly managed can ruin your outreach and drain the volunteers. Get one member of your partnering organisation and task him with the duty of keeping the crowd in check and ensuring unidirectional flow of participants.

Train your volunteers before the outreach to ensure they perform optimally. For example, give them tips on how to measure the blood pressure quickly and also how to consult in a directed manner to quickly decipher those needing real medical attention and those who have just come for free drugs. Being able to sieve out the ill from the well will save your team a lot of time and energy.

For our fictional outreach, it will be a good idea to take a break for 30 minutes at 1 pm to enable the volunteers refresh and catch their breath before continuing.

Respect the time of the volunteers, if you have decided to shut down at a particular time that you should have communicated to the them, keep to this time, no matter what pressure you may be under from the indigenes. Tell them you will come back another day, if you intend to (I proposed a model for this on Twitter yesterday).

Download Sample Outreach Documents

Click on ‘download’ to get sample registration sheet, consultation and referral forms for a medical outreach. This link will take you to the Google docs form if you will prefer that.

I hope I have been able to make life easier for at least one person who feels daunted by the weight of planning a medical outreach.

If you have any clarifications or things you feel need to be added to this post, please engage me in the comment section.

Featured Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

This Post Has 52 Comments

  1. Tomiwa

    Thanks for this post.

    Outreaches are important in bridging the healthcare delivery gap.

    Very practical and detailed guide.

    1. Ikechukwu

      Thank you for your comment, Tomiwa. I am glad to have been of help. What would you say stresses you the most about outreaches?

  2. Eunice Olusoji

    Aikay, Thank you for this insightful article . God bless your good heart

  3. Motolani

    Oh great. This should be outreach made simple

  4. Miracle

    This write-up is so helpfull. Nice job Ikay.

    1. Ikechukwu

      Thank you Miracle! I am glad to be of help.

    2. Azeez Olawale

      Thanks for this guide. God bless you.

  5. Onoja

    Thanks for this article ,it might seems simple ,but its quite weighty and helpful .thanks for making life easier for me ikey.

    1. Ikechukwu

      You are welcome, Onoja. I am happy that it made life easier for you.

  6. Yemisi

    Hi Aikay. Thanks for your write up. It was succinctly explained. However, I need to ask if there is a body that approves medical outreaches whether in a rural or urban setting. Thanks

    1. Ikechukwu

      You are welcome. I do not think there is any, at least not that I am aware of.
      However, it is important to sensitive the community people through key stakeholders in the community so that you get the best turnout. (In my opinion, this is the ‘approval body’ you need haha)

      1. Chinenye

        Thank you for this wonderful job.

  7. Yemi Oyebode

    I and some colleagues need to plan an outreach soon and I just remembered this post and referred to it now. Very insightful and helpful. I’m grateful for it.

    1. Ikechukwu

      Thanks bro. All the best with your outreach!


    God bless you real good.

    1. Bayura Isaiah Jesse

      Your comment here…Very impressive,

      This will really served as a good guide for planning for medical and other form of out reached.

  9. Pharmacist Iyke

    This is wonderful. Just what I’ve been looking for. Kudos bro

  10. Victor

    Iyke thank you for this detailed, insightful and informative article. Just researching on how to organise a health outreach in my community this year. Weldone. I know this will be helpful.

  11. adesina oluwabukunmi

    All I can say is that this is mind-blowing ❗ wow
    Thank you
    I have a question can I add blood grouping and rhesus to an outreach, how about urine testing?

    Thank you

    It was insightful

    1. Ikechukwu

      Yeah, you can do any test as long as you have the expertise and turn around time to do so.

  12. Marvellous

    Nice piece there, Ikechukwu.
    How can I contact you for further guidance on how to go about a similar project?
    Thank you so much.

    1. Ikechukwu

      Hi Marvellous, you are welcome.
      There is a link to a telegram group page in the ‘contact’ tab of the website

  13. Peter

    Wow!! Thanks so much for this !! I was daunted with the task of handling a medical outreach for my church but with these points you’ve made- I can see a very good headway with the planning.

  14. Habibu

    Thank you so much for this detailed and practical guide.
    Please do you know any corporate bodies or NGOs that could help with sponsoring medical outreaches here in Nigeria?
    Thank you.

    1. Daniel

      Wow, this nice thanks at least I’ve gotten a hint about what I’ve had in mind to do.
      Can a kidney test be done on outreaches like this

  15. Kunle

    Thanks for this article. Very helpful

  16. Daniel

    Wow, this nice thanks at least I’ve gotten a hint about what I’ve had in mind to do. Is there any means of me chatting with you maybe on telgram or so…

  17. Austasam

    Thank you so much.. this article is helpful

  18. Engr. Lawal Khadijat

    Thank you so much for the explanation. My mosque is planning a medical outreach soon. Pls is it medically permissible to include injectables on a medical outreach?

    1. Ikechukwu

      Yes, as long as there is someone trained to administer it. But from experience, I would not recommend it. On a cost benefit analysis, you will not make significant impact with the amount of cost you will need to put in. If they are so bad to need injectables, then they should be in the hospital yesterday.

  19. Mayokun

    Nice piece Ikechukwu. I found it really helpful. Kudos.

  20. Benjamin

    This was really insightful. God Bless You!

    1. Ruth

      Thank you for this step by step guide, very helpful and stress free.

  21. oluseyi leigh

    Good Evening and thanks for the step bye step guide. i would like to have one and i would like to know how i can get doctors and everyone involved. please are there people that do it and can be paid.

  22. Ane Adobe

    Thank you so much. There is so much need for these outreaches now more than ever. God bless you real good.

  23. Michael

    This information is very useful as I have an outreach planned for second week of November.

  24. Lamin Abu Bakarr Tarawally

    This guiding tips are so much helpful to me. It has broadened my knowledge on how to develop A MEDICAL OUTREACH PLAN.
    Thanks so much for these guiding tips.

  25. Mercy Chinwe

    Wow, so happy I came across this.
    I was wondering why it felt so relatable until I realised it was written by a Nigerian.
    This is so helpful, I am not medical personnel and I have an outreach in 2 weeks’ time. So happy about this.
    Thank you

  26. Ayi

    Thank you Ikechukwu.
    Simple, concise and so so workable.
    Just what is needed!

  27. Dr Hassan J Z

    A very nice and workable outreach plan.
    Thank you so much for this exposure.

  28. Naaa

    Thank you so much,Very Insightful and thanks for Sharing

  29. Christian Ejike

    Thank you Sir, your guidelines are well detailed. I appreciate you for your help.

  30. Adedamola

    This is 2023 and the indispensability of this remains.
    Thank you very much, high chief.

  31. Peter Gamfe Williams

    Praise the Lord for this comprehensive write up. I will like you to be have your email sir.

  32. Oluwatoyin

    I really appreciate you sir for this comprehensive write up this will make our medical outreach easy.



  34. Temitayo

    Thank you for this write, it’s really helpful

    1. Ikechukwu

      You are welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment!

  35. Gloria

    In fact, you did Justice to this topic of medical outreach! Thumbs up!

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