Shere Health Intervention Project
Shere community is located in Bwari Area Council in Abuja-FCT and was found in 1820, with a present population of about 3,000 residents. On arriving the community, we first of all visited the Primary School in Shere to introduce ourselves, tell them why we have come, but more importantly to source for a local interpreter who could assist us around the community. Our next point of call was to the District Head of Shere Community, Alhaji Ibrahim Danladi Jirah, who welcomed us to Shere Community and was impressed with our willingness to help them as they have been greatly neglected in the area of infrastructural development, education and health. He gave us permission to go round the community to source whatever information we need.
We started the needs assessment at the L.E.A primary school which happens to be the only government primary school in the community, and serves about six nearby communities. In an interview with the assistant head master Mr Levinus Baaki he lamented the challenges faced by the community generally, which are inadequate health facilities which leads to maternal and infant mortality, non-availability of portable water, lack of roads and electricity. A community that has existed for about 195 years has never had the opportunity to experience the beauty of electricity, though electricity poles where mounted years back but had been abandoned. According to him treating injuries sustained by pupils during school hours or programs has been difficult due to the fact that the first aid box is inadequately equipped and also having to pay monies at the healthcare center when the injuries are severe and cannot be treated in school.
Complaint letters were written to Bwari Area Council, Universal Basic Education (UBE), and the District head on the condition of the school but no action has been taken till now. In conclusion Mr Baaki pleaded for the following facilities to help boost participation and concentration of the pupils and the teachers to make the school a better learning environment:
- Perimeter fencing
- Furniture for both the pupils and staff members
- Deployment of more teachers
- Repair of dilapidated class room blocks.
- First Aid Kits
Thereafter Arm of Hope foundation team visited the primary healthcare center in the community. Interviewing Christiana Kagbu, a nurse at the PHC, she pointed out a lot of challenges limiting effective service delivery. The dilapidated nature of the building makes it difficult to carryout functions during rainy seasons; water flows in from all angles of the building as part of the roof is no more and the rest with leakages. After this incidence, a new health center was built and completed. It however hasn’t been equipped and has been under lock for the past 2 years
The Healthcare Center being one of the most effective amongst others in the nearby communities has suffered inadequate health facilities, medical staff attendant, insufficient drugs and when supplied some are with close expiry date. Treating ailments in the dark at night and also without testing in the laboratory is really challenging and risky therefore we treat minor problems and those we test with the kit e.g malaria and HIV and refer the rest to the general hospital at the Area Council. When asked about delivery at night, given the fact that there is no light in the community, she responded that women usually, would have to come along with their kerosene lamp or lantern.
Christiana believes they could do better if the following are attended to:
- Good clinic structure and environment for better treatment
- Adequate doctors and nurses
- Good surgical materials
- Drugs at affordable price
- Generator set
Going round the community, we discovered that the only source of water in the community, is from the community pond. What makes this a sad case is the fact that the residents usually drink the water straight from the pond. Most of the primary school children after school usually go to fetch water from the pond or go to assist their parents on the farm. A water project was being implemented in the community, but the project had been abandoned for five years and the other borehole in the community was donated by another NGO, but had worked for only a year.
From the information gathered during our visit, it is very evident that the situation in Shere is very appalling, especially considering the fact that this community is only 25km from the Presidential villa in Abuja. Analysis of information during the visit reveals that the health challenges faced by the school and the PHC are of utmost priority to the community. To that effect, we are proposing to show an act of love and kindness in the community during the Valentine day period by supplying some basic health needs in the community. Consultation in the community revealed that the health challenges faced by the children in the community is where the need assistance.
As part of our charity intervention, The Shere Health Intervention Project (by AHF is aimed to deliver health aid in Shere. This is slated for the 13th of February 2013 and we intend to
- Supply First Aid Kit to the School and Health Center
- Malaria prevention and curative instruments (malaria drugs, bed nets etc.)
- HIV testing for men and women in the community.
The impact of this is to, in our own little way, contribute to relieving the health burden in the community.
Progressively, we are looking into implementing a borehole water project in the Community and also supply light to the health center in the community.