Hundreds of Christian mission hospitals across the country need help. This was the submission of the new Secretary-General of The Christian Health Association of Nigeria (CHAN), Mr Michael Idah.
Idah, while speaking recently, recalled: “Over the past years, some of the hospitals, especially those providing primary healthcare especially in the hard-to-reach areas, have been having enormous difficulties trying to provide basic healthcare services to the teeming population yearning for them.
“Increasingly, our people and sometimes the governments are forgetting that many Christian hospitals across the country have served generations of Nigerians since many of them were founded in the early 1910s.
“More than that, some Christian denominations such as the Catholic Church, ECWA, Baptists, Anglican Church, among others, have gone ahead to build big tertiary health institutions which have been churning out medical doctors and even offering post-graduate training, thereby
contributing to the healthcare delivery of the Nigerian people.”
Mr Idah expressed fears that some of the healthcare institutions which are under the umbrella of CHAN are at the risk of scaling down their operations, noting that if that were to happen, it would constitute a challenge for the many indigent people in such areas who cannot afford healthcare services.
He expressed sadness that over the years, support from charity agencies, most of them overseas-based, and which used to sustain the Christian health institutions in terms of funding, drugs, equipment and manpower and other medical consumables, had dwindled and many donor agencies fatigued.
“When we receive this support, we give them sometimes to patients for free especially those in very remote areas.
“The main aim of CHAN is to ensure that we reach the unreached in the most remote parts of the country with quality, accessible and affordable healthcare services.
“We are a member organisation of missionary institutions in Nigeria, the organisation has so far contributed over 46 per cent of the healthcare services in the country, which means that apart from the government infrastructural support in the society, CHAN has the highest network
coverage in terms of healthcare service delivery in Nigeria,” Idah explained.
He further narrated his fears over the challenges facing the association and appealed to the government, corporate organisations and well-meaning individuals for support,
“The biggest challenge as a faith-based organisation is in the area of resource. A lot of CHAN’s hospitals cannot afford to employ and pay doctors, midwives and health workers. And in other cases, we need a lot of diagnostic professionals working in the lab. These are CHAN’s
key needs at the moment and we will deeply appreciate government’s support to achieve all these,” he noted.
He also revealed that the association is unable to afford the necessary amenities due to its insufficient financial state, and therefore called on well-meaning organisations to support her
Speaking on the need to have a steady power supply, Idah said: “Most of these facilities require steady power supply to be maintained and some of these rural areas do not have electricity, so they depend solely on the use of generators. We also require government input to have a steady power supply in the rural areas, which will also reduce the cost of running generators.
“We also solicit the support of the government and reputable drug manufacturing companies to enable us to have access to quality drugs. We are aware of the alarming rate of fake drugs in the country and we don’t want to endanger people’s lives with fake drugs. This is why need to have
quality drugs from reliable sources.
“In that wise, one of our big strategies is to partner with stakeholders, drug manufacturing companies, and in this partnership, we are majorly looking to collaborate with the government, because CHAN is basically complementing the obligations of the government to the citizens,” Idah narrated.