Nigeria – Community Health Program
In 2010, AMURT launched a program in Nigeria aimed at developing community healthcare systems and reducing the country’s maternal mortality rate, one of the world’s highest. Providing some of Nigeria’s poorest and most rural areas with proper health facilities warrants the service of more than one NGO, so AMURT has teamed with ActionAid Nigeria as well as Nigeria’s overwhelmed state health department and the members of local communities to accomplish this task.
Doors Open at Three New Health Centers
AMURT was invited to take part in a primary healthcare initiative to finish construction on three new primary care facilities. The project was started several years ago by a local women’s group, whose members contributed 10 Niara each to establish foundations for the sites and initiate a call to action. ActionAid contributed building materials and AMURT committed to provide furniture, medical equipment, drugs, supplies and construction of bathrooms. Meanwhile, pressure was being placed on local and state health departments to post health workers to the new facilities. Initial reluctance gave way to success as government health officials agreed to help staff the centers. The three health centers at Omege, Ephenium and Offia Oji were officially opened by Her Excellency, the First Lady of Ebonyi State , on November 24th. The opening ceremony was well covered by local and national media. Currently they are attracting a massive number of people, especially the most remote one at Offia Oji. To accommodate the heightened demand for both inpatient and outpatient services, AMURT will build three additional rooms at that location.
Her Excellency, the First Lady cutting the ribbon at Omege Health Center
AMURT uses the World Health Organization’s “Continuum of Care” model for maternal, newborn and child health that includes integrated service delivery for mothers and children, lasting through pregnancy and delivery as well as the immediate postnatal period and early childhood. This model provides a strong foundation for a family’s health and a path to progress.
Mothers and their children gather for immunizations at the new heath center in Omege
Ten More Rural Health Centers and Clean Water in Ebonyi by 2013
AMURT is proud to have committed to a three-year program for Nigeria’s Ebonyi State. In addition to clinical services, our programs include supplementary training for the health workers, extensive health education in the thirty-four villages in the project area, and community outreach programs, providing a basis for the sustained health of the nigerian people for years to come. The first phase of the plan is to define and perfect a model with the first three centers. The next step is to scale up and replicate the model with ten more rural health centers throughout Ebonyi by the end of 2013. Additionally, AMURT will also extend assistance to rural water supply and sanitation initiatives.
For the first time in West Africa we are broadening our community-based approach to include local government and NGO partners. By strengthening their capacities we are improving the long-term sustainability of the program. It’s overwhelmingly clear to us that through partnership we can accomplish things that we could never achieve working separately.