… As The Church of Latter-Day Saints refurbishes health centre, donates hospital equipment
Raphael Ede, Enugu
Excitement swept through Ozalla Etiti, a community in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State recently when a refurbished health centre was handed over to the residents by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Charity.
The church also installed other health facilities at the centre, which it said would be for the training of nurses and other health workers.
Head of the Enugu unit of the church, Mr. Chimaroke Udichi, who delivered the facility on behalf of the church, said the project was part of efforts by the church to touch humanity as Jesus Christ’s followers. Udichi said it was the first health care project undertaken by the church in Enugu and urged the community to use the facilities provided for the benefit of Ozalla women and children.
He explained that the major cause of maternal deaths in rural communities was haemorrhage, which might occur during and after child delivery, hence the decision by the church to provide blood bank and oxygen concentrator for the centre. He also urged members of the community to ensure constant blood donation to the facility to prevent maternal and child deaths.
Some of the equipment donated to the centre were hospital beds and mattresses, drug cupboards, examination couch, delivery bed, patient trolley, stretchers, centrifuge, glucometer, and digital sphygmomanometer.
Chairman of Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, Hon. Henry Ikechukwu Okenwa, who received the equipment on behalf of the community, thanked the church for the gesture, which he tagged “practical Christianity.” He was represented by the supervisory councillor for health, Mrs. Chisom Ude.
The council boss said the gesture would impact positively on the health of the community and bring health services closer to the people.
“It will also create easy access to health facilities for the masses, vulnerable children, youths and the elderly,” he said.
President-general of Ozalla Okoroba, Mr. Igwe Tony, said he lacked words to appreciate the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the donation.
“I know that God, who rewards every diligent work, will reward this church and its members,” he said. “It can only be done via love. You were right here in the morning; some of you were here even earlier. This is an example of Christianity and I know that God will reward every one of you.”
He said the health centre was in a pathetic state before the intervention of the church: “There were times we would come here and see people groaning in the dark because of lack of electric power and basic health facilities. Even nurses used their phones’ flashlight to conduct deliveries in the night.”
On his part, traditional ruler of Etiti-Ozalla community, Igwe Donald Nwochi, thanked the church for the gesture and assured them that the project would be protected. He said his community would also support the quest of the church to bring the Gospel to the community.
Earlier, the officer in charge of the Ozalla Health Centre, Chinenye Aninwonye, noted that the Church of Latter-Day Saints had exhibited love to humanity through its practical ecclesiastical mission.
According to the director, Bright Vision Health Foundation (BVHF), Dozie Adaobi, one of the groups training the health workers, the essence of the programme was to ensure better health care for the people.
“I noticed that the centre really lacked medical equipment. They have dedicated workers who were willing and ready to work, but were not continuously updated and re-trained in modern health practices.
“They need to be continuously trained and updated on the current trend in the health care system and management, especially as it regards pregnancy, labour and delivery.”
The area welfare manager of Latter-Day Saints Charity, Mr. Chidi Ibeakuzie, explained why the charity chose the health centre for rehabilitation.
“We receive requests all the time, but we look at the merits and those who are willing to work with us and do certain things we ask them to do. And, if they qualify, we work with them. Ozalla people appreciate what we have done for them. Some people don’t appreciate anything; we gave them a lot of conditions and they fulfilled their part, then we complemented their hard work.
“One of the conditions for executing a project in a community is that they bring the labourers while we bring materials. They happily fulfilled their part, and that is the kind of partnership we look out for. It is not like the project is exclusive to us; no, they have to do their part,” he said.
He also explained that the church spent millions of naira in the execution of the project, adding that the church would return after six months for an evaluation on how well the facilities are being utilised for the benefit of the women and the children of the community.
“It is just like the parable of the talents; we can increase it if they utilise what was provided for them. We are coming back here to see what has happened, and the areas where we need to help. Within the next six months to one year, we’ll be back.”