According to Unicef survey, newborn deaths account for quarter of the total number of deaths of children under-five in Nigeria. The majority of these deaths occur within the first week of life mainly due to complications during pregnancy and delivery. Many of these deaths are by preventable causes and good antenatal care and access to health care services during and immediately after delivery can help to greatly reduce these deaths, especially those caused by birth asphyxia, neonatal tetanus, malaria and maternal anemia. This equally goes a long way to show the link between newborn survival and quality maternal care, clearly justifying the integration of maternal, newborn, and child health interventions.
Sadly, as preventable as these newborn deaths are, they continue to occur due to the poor coverage of healthcare services in Nigeria. Worst hit being the north central and North West geo-political zones of the country, having the worst survival figures.
This was the case of Gbaukuchi community, a rural community in Northern Nigeria when a friend Patrick Simon brought our Founder Amarachi Igwe Kalu there. On getting to this community on an investigative research, she discovered that unlike most communities whose problems were dilapidated health care centers and epileptic health services, Gbaukuchi had a different problem entirely; they had no healthcare center, no form of healthcare, not even a drug store. Realizing the grave implication of this, from very high infant mortality, to complications during birth and delivery arising from travelling a long distance to health facility in the next community, to zero immunization rates for children under age 1, she immediately initiated a construction project of a healthcare centre in Gbaukuchi.
Gaining all the necessary approvals needed, including a building plan, Amarachi went in search of sponsors who would help make the project a reality. GOD ordering her steps, brought her to a highly reputable construction company called S.C.C NIG LTD, who upon verification of its genuity, took up the project and saw that it was executed. They worked according to her building plan and erected a healthcare center comprising of one male ward (en-suite), one female ward(en-suite), a labour room (en-suite), a treatment room(en-suite), a consulting room(en-suite), and a spacious reception; shouldering all the cost implications, including furnishing it and getting a standby generator for the facility.
After, the completion of the project, not relenting, Amarachi went further to write to the authorities to ensure that health personnel and basic drug supplies were sent to the facility, thereby getting it fully operational.
On the day the project was commissioned, with full sponsorship from S.C.C Nig. Ltd, the joy of the indigenes of Gbaukuchi community knew no bounds, they came out in their numbers rejoicing, some in utter disbelief that this was happening in their life time, the excitement in the air was palpable. This was a totally fulfilling experience for Amarachi, who could only imagine how many lives of mothers and infants could be saved by this project and equally grateful to S.C.C Nig Ltd, for helping her make this impact, contributing to national development and putting a smile on the faces of the less privileged and their unborn children who will now have a chance at survival, and immunizations to ensure their health and well-being as they grow, the expectant mothers who will now have access to good antenatal care and an overall improved access to healthcare for the women and children of Gbaukuchi community.