My name is Mary Hassan. I am a trained health worker and also a farmer who plants maize, soya beans and groundnuts. I am happily married and a mother of 6 children (2 Male and 4.female). I am from Gizaki community with about 1,115 people. My community members do not enjoy full medical services due to lack of health facility in the community. It is always difficult for us to access health facility as we have to trek 35 to 40 kilometers. Due to this situation people of my community, especially women and children suffer a lot. During the time of pregnancy women face situations of miscarriage, some give birth on their way to the nearest medical facility while parents prefer to take their children for local medication in order to reduce cost.

We spend N200 to N500  or more when we access the local medication and more than N1000 to N1500 for transport to the local government as a result of bad road. This has also affected the community as our children suffer more of malaria and other issues such as skin infection, inadequate routine immunization for the children while women could not have their anti-natal care. But in 2011 ActionAid and its local partner FAWOYDI constructed a PHC for our community and equipped it with health equipment such as beds, telescope, tubes etc while the LGA council posted 5 health personnel which I am one of them. The entire community are grateful for this wonderful support.

In 2013, a pregnant woman was treated in the PHC for high blood pressure. It was observed that her blood pressure rose to about 140/90 and the doctor told to her husband that her blood pressure was suppose to have 120/70 which is normal for her with her condition of pregnancy. Before that incident it was difficulty for community people women especially to be treated for BP in the community because the PHC was short of health equipment to support the health work. But to my surprise in 2013, a donor organization under the USAID funded project known as TSHIP (Targeted State High Impact Projects) donated additional health equipment such as 2 hospital beds, 1 examination couch, 1 delivery bed, weighing scale for both babies and adults with delivery/AVC sets with the following 1 placenta bowl, 2 apron, 2 kidney dish, 6 fetoscope, 2 Blood Pressure apparatus, 15 measuring tapes, 2 stethoscopes, 1 infant ambo bag, 2 mackintosh etc to our community health center. This would not have been made possible if AAN and FAWOYDI had not constructed and advocated to other relevant stakeholders involved in the health sector of the state. The health facility is functioning and community people are accessing the facility even neighboring community come to access it too. At least about 30 people including children access the facility on weekly basis.

Thank you ActionAid Nigeria and FAWOYDI for making our hope of having an improved health center a reality. Now I believed that “health is wealth but only for people who believe in change”.