The village of Gidan Mangoro, in the rural area of Abuja, shares with other villages along Karu-Karshi Road the health problems of all rural Nigerian villages: local hospitals and clinics are inadequate in every way; local residents face a limited life expectancy, while death from disease such as malaria, typhoid, dengue fever and HIV/AIDS are common and infant/maternal mortality is conservatively estimated high in this village and its environs.
The Gidan Mangoro Health Centre is a project in progress, with the Main Clinic building completed, the furnishing and equipping of this medical centre partially carried out, and our doors now fully opened to offer good, accessible and affordable health services to God’s poor, the need for the medical equipment and supplies is urgent.
The health problems of the village of Gidan Mangoro and its neighbouring villages, can hardly be fully addressed by the Nigerian government or non-governmental organizations. The nearest government hospital to this village is about 14kilometres from here, not easily accessible to the villagers. Most of the residents in this area are not at all financially capable to travel to private hospitals, let alone afford their fees.
Residents resort to self-diagnosis or native doctors for their medical care. A further problem with self diagnosis, or even with diagnosis made in many clinics around here, is that blood tests are rarely used. Rather, symptoms are described and medication prescribed, by clinic workers with little or no training, with no laboratory test results to help shape their diagnosis. Yet another problem is the fake drugs that sometimes flood the market and the less-privileged would often go for such as they are sold cheaply at prices they can afford.
The impact of the above problems, is frequently seen in early death and limited life expectancy for residents in this area. Death from diseases such as malaria, typhoid, hypertension, diabetes, dengue fever and HIV/AIDS is common and infant/maternal mortality rated high nationwide.
We are blessed with wonderful clinic and lab facilities and well-trained medical personnel. In an effort to ensure high quality care, we need additional medical equipment and supplies.
The project is located on the St. Mary’s Church compound in Ajegunle, on the outskirts of Lagos. Ajegunle has always been densely populated and very poor. It has a reputation as a high crime area. Our clinic provides high quality medical care, including nutritional workshops, immunizations and emergency assistance. Residents face a limited life expectancy and present with diseases ranging from diabetes and high blood pressure to malaria, typhoid, dengue fever and HIV/AIDS. Many women give birth without any medical oversight, resulting in high rates of maternal and infant mortality.
Generations of families have benefited from our clinic over the past 38 years. The Project is planning to expand by acquiring land for new structures, open annexes in other parts of Nigeria, engage National Service Youth Corps, and welcome volunteers.
In collaboration with the government, Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for HIV/AIDS and related complications are carried out. Medical services are provided to children, mothers, families and men with an emphasis on educative prevention. The medical laboratory includes multiple machines and a well trained staff. A new program, Creighton Model Fertility Care, has been introduced for married couples interested in fertility and/or regulating childbirth.
Recent innovations include a new card system, a DVD to educate mothers while waiting to see a consultant, modern toilets, an extension that includes a rest area and minimart, a flower garden and playground for the children.
The Holy Child Sisters have a strong history of service, particularly in school education and health care, in Nigeria. We have lived and served in Oghareki village in Oghara in Delta State since 2006, both in the field of education and of health care. We were invited by Bishop Burke, to staff Our Lady of Nigeria Cottage Hospital, which was built by the Catholic Church, to meet the healthcare needs of the people. There was a government hospital in the area that was totally non-functional resulting in those who were sick driving a distance of 45 minutes to one hour for care.
The compound, which includes a primary day school, and a secondary school as well as the hospital, is located in the village of Oghareki, off Community Road. Like many rural villages in Nigeria, quality education and healthcare have only recently been accessible to the people. Residents face a limited life expectancy and present with diseases ranging from diabetes and high blood pressure to malaria, typhoid, and HIV/AIDS. Many women give birth without any medical oversight, resulting in high rates of maternal and infant mortality.
The clinic/hospital at Our Lady of Nigeria provides emergency and preventive care. In addition to male and female wards each accommodating 8 beds, the facility includes an operating theatre and two private suites. Hospital staff quarters can accommodate three doctors. Equipment includes an autoclave machine, a sterilizing machine, a genotype machine and two generators.
The Daughters of Charity, Pope John Paul 11 Clinic was opened in Eeken Community, Ogoni Land Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria on July 8, 2002. It is a rural area of the state with the clinic as the only health facility in the locality. It has an out patient department, three wards of 8 beds each for admission of very ill patients (male, female and children), a laboratory, theatre for operations and an Antenatal/ delivery services.
The existing wards takes up all ill patients ranging from people who come with fever, malaria, diarrhea and vomiting, those who need control for their diabetic disorder, control on the blood pressure, very ill HIV/TB cases as well as patients who are operated upon for various reasons. Being a rural area, the clinic ground is very exposed to invaders as there is no fencing round the grounds. So we are in need of more wards to separate different cases, like having a surgical ward for those who had operations, TB/HIV il-patients to be separated from other illnesses.
Sr. Marie Therese Okon, a Daughter of Charity Sister, goes out to the various villages in the Ogoni Land Local Government area, to look after children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. She also takes on the counseling of HIV positive cases tested in our clinic twice a week. She holds a meeting with the support group once a week and assists the doctor who treats the HIV children during the clinic days in our clinic once a week.
At left: Faith, 5, and Patricia, 1, lost both their parents to HIV.
Their grandmother cares for them.