Jireh’s Impact Stories
PHC Uyarako was commissioned on 31st December, 2007. It brought great joy to the community and communities around as they hoped to get quick health attention since they had over 7KM distance to travel to the closest PHC. After years of fruitful operation, the PHC was confronted with a huge challenge; the Officer in charge of the PHC was not available at the health centre. This was compounded by the fact that the PHC management committee was in disarray because its chairman died suddenly. For close to a year, the PHC was not being properly ran. Consequently, the community members were back to attending PHCs far outside their community (Eg PHC Atighir, 7KM away). Being very worried by the development, the CDC members of Mbabuluku and Mbaabanyam teamed up to find a lasting solution. They met severally and decided to employ the services of a health personnel within their community pending when their advocacy and efforts by JDF in getting a replacement for the PHC would be completed. They employed a junior health extension worker Miss Gwa Ngunan. She keeps the PHC running in the absence of the officer in charge. She was engaged in the month of July 2015. Her presence has made attendance to the PHC to pick-up. Since her coming, 10 pregnant women had come for treatment. Mbakasev Atim 25 years, a 5-month old pregnant woman who was seenat the PHC confessed that re- opening the PHC was what compelled her to go for ante-natal clinic. She said the other facility was too far. Her quote ‘Now there is someone to attend to me, not like before when there was no body. On her part, the head of department of health in the local government area promised to send a new staff to the place in due course. She regretted that her staff were very small compared to the demand they had. She also said that in her last posting, she had sent someone but the man died before resuming for work. She said her efforts to send another person was challenged as the staff was delivered of new baby and needed to rest. One of the CDC members who championed the course of re-opening the PHC said this No outsider can help us, we must help ourselves Community members especially women of child-bearing age in Mbatan Community of Mbaketsa council ward; Kwande LGA Benue state are so excited about the introduction of a service centre in their community. Mbatan is a remote community and one of the most underdeveloped community in Mbaketsa ward. This under development is attributed to the low level education of most community members. This assertion was made by the community members during interaction with the JDF staff visiting the community. It all began for Mbatan when the CDC members recognized the difficulties women face during immunization days owing to the distance of the nearest access point and the crowd. In fact, most women end up staying long on queue to access the services and give up due to the cries of their hungry children. These challenges have in some cases made it impossible for some children to access essential immunization services. Sarah Ugba who is a grandmother of 65 years said sometimes our children will be hungry and start crying even before it gets to our turn which made some frustrated mothers to take their children back home without taking the immunization With a great passion to increase access to health services for community members; the CDC worked with the health facility staff at the CHC in Ageraga to site a service point in their community in Tse-Nguko. After series of follow up with the team, the site was adopted by the Ward team and over 136 children were reported to have accessed the measles vaccine in November at the site. The CDC chairman reported that this was owing to the fact the CDC and CHA members went on massive mobilization. Evelyn Angbea who is also a mother affirmed this about the new service point we were able to access the services easily and faster too. This is the first time we are having it delivered very close to us and we are happy about it. Still speaking on how helpful having a center close to them has been to the entire community; a 3 year old mother; Bridget Tyovenda had this to say sometimes we had to go to Kaamen(former service point) for days before we were able to get the service which discouraged some women. This time it was not like that at all. The CDC chairman Mr. Terhemba Ajav said they were able to get the service point successfully because the community members were part of the decision making process. In his words Following the support from JDF, we did our action plan and it revealed the urgent need for increased access to health services like immunization. We immediately convened a community meeting and it was agreed upon by the entire community that we get a service point. He is excited about the turn up of women and children to access services during the last round of immunization. The CDC chairman said This is good for my community because some of our children missed out on health services previously but now they were able to access them with joy. For Mbatan community, this is but a tip of the iceberg as they are poised to attract more development to their community.