Human Dignity, through opportunities in education
info@voiceofachild.org

Ebonyi Primary Healthcare, Nigeria

 

PROJECT SUMMARY

For every hundred live births, one mother dies in childbirth in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. As many as one in five children die before the age of five. Our partner organization, AMURT Nigeria, is working on the front line in the battle to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in Nigeria’s Ebonyi State. The challenges in the project areas are staggering – extreme poverty, lack of potable water, low literacy rate, few motor-able roads, more than eighty percent of the women still are circumcised (Female Genital Mutilation). The nearest hospitals are 1-2 hours drive away. Many villages have no vehicles besides motorcycles.

At Voice Of a Child (VOC) we are dedicated to supporting children in the family settings, by working directly or through competent, reputable and committed organizations with low overheads and dedicated experienced staff. VOC staff has known and worked together with the program director of the Ebonyi Primary Healthcare Program at Ekumenyi, Nigeria for over 20 years and have consulted with them on the project since 2009.

 

STATUS OF THE PROJECT

Ongoing

 

GOALS

(i) As we focused on the goal of the project to reduce the maternal and neo-natal mortality rate, the need for an ambulance became unmistakably evident. As a result, VOC took upon the task to provide for this need, serving three hospitals in remote and neglected area called Ekumenyi. The estimated price of a pre-owned, reliable ambulance is around $22,000, and the price of a brand new ambulance is around $32,000.

Considering the urgency of the need, where people may die in the absence of emergency transport, our goal is to complete the financial target by May 31st, 2012, with your tax deductible donation.

[This goal has been accomplished. See photo of the ambulance below.]

(ii) Continue to support the Maternal Health Center and its goal to reduce mortality rates by raising additional funds for a medical ultrasound device and other essential health support equipment.

 

WORK ACCOMPLISHED

We are very happy to inform that we were able to meet our target and have the ambulance installed at the project site by the end of May. The brand new Nissan Urvan Ambulance was installed at the Offia Oji Health Center on 31st May 2012, and is providing lifesaving support to several communities in rural Nigeria.

The equipment of the ambulance is quite excellent, and AMURT’s medical director was highly satisfied with it. The local communities were almost in disbelief to see a new ambulance based in their village.

 Read more about the completion of the delivery of Ambulance.

 

HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT?

We continue to accept donations for supporting the Ebonyi Primary Healthcare program. Visit our donation page to make your tax deductible donation for this much needy project that is helping save lives in rural Nigeria.

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DETAILED PROJECT DESCRIPTION

AMURT Nigeria started the three health centers in Ekumenyi, Nigeria in late 2010. The area is extremely remote and isolated. Over time, the confidence of the population has increased, and two of the three clinics are now very busy, with a steady flow of  patients.

The area has a very high maternal mortality rate. We conducted a survey last year, and were able to verify 31 maternal deaths. Our efforts have focused on getting women to come to deliver at our health centers. We accomplish this by home visits of our trained health workers to pregnant women in the vicinity. The women are interviewed and encouraged to come to the health center for ante-natal check ups, and to plan to deliver in the health centers. From December 2010 up to now, we have had 290 deliveries in our three clinics.

Last month we had many emergencies. By God’s grace, in most cases, we happen to be present with our vehicles to rush the patients to the major Federal Hospital in Abakaliki, the state capital. However, this mode of transportation is unsuitable for many patients where they have to sit in the back-seat; particularly for those who suffer post partum hemorrhage. They need to be able to recline on a bed while being transported to the hospital for emergency surgery or blood transfusions.

We have saved the lives of many mothers and babies even by making do with available vehicles. However now, a general purpose dedicated ambulance is needed to meet the need of various emergencies, such as, post partum hemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, ruptured uterus, and infants with breathing problems.

With the help of an ambulance we can make easy and fast referral 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The ambulance will serve patients from the three health centers, all located in the same Ekumenyi community.

Perhaps the biggest problem in the area is extreme poverty. Often when we make referrals, the family will hesitate and even refuse to take the child to hospital because they fear the expenses. We have lost children who have been referred when no ambulance was available to carry them. They were taken home and died within few days. If we had had an ambulance, these children could have been saved.

The population of Ekumenyi is about 24,000. The clinics even have some patients from outside of Ekumenyi community. In addition to the three health centers run by AMURT, there are two govt. health centers. They don’t operate very well, but the ambulance could also carry patients from these clinics. There are even clinics in nearby communities that could benefit from the ambulance. In the area, vehicles are very scarce. Some of the villages don’t have a single vehicle.

The ambulance is simply to save lives of mothers and babies, and of course any emergency patient in need.

More links

AMURT Africa Newsletter – January 2012
Website of partner organization: AMURT Nigeria