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Group to equip six FCT health centres, empower urban poor

File photo of a health centre in Kano.

A non government group is to use money pooled from the salaries of World Bank staff to buy hospital equipment for six health centres in Abuja and Nasarawa and train urban poor women to earn incomes.

The Citizens Health Education and Development Initiative (CHEDI) announced it will visit “needy” primary health centres in Kwali, Gwagwalada and Bwari and two in Nasarawa.

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Among the equipment it slated for purchase are 6-point solar lighting, two delivery beds, four examination couches, office table and chair, two examination trolleys, two filing cabinets and a hospital bed with mattress pillow.

“You may not believe some nurses take deliveries with torch light or phone. Some didn’t have delivery beds or examination tables,” says CHEDI executive director Selina Enyioha, speaking about the group’s assessment of health centres.

“We went to one centre, and the nurse had no seat. In one centre, there was no chair, no table. If you have opportunity to go inside our rural areas as we have done, in some areas you will weep. Why wont we have high maternal mortality with what is happening?”

It comes as CHEDI, on Thursday, flagged off its 2019 skill-acquisition programme—to train 40 women in the urban slum of Gbagalape in Nyanya district of Abuja to make beads and household cleaning products for sale.

The programme is funded by World Bank staff as part of the Bank’s Community Connections Campaign in Nigeria.

The women will undergo eight hours of daily training for four weeks alongside community food demonstrations, HIV counselling and testing, and classes in nutrition education and family planning.

“Our women are very critical in the index of development, in the upbringing of children, for the future and they can only be celebrated if they have some degree of financial independence,” said Matthew Ashikeni, special duties director at the FCT Human and Health Services.

“Any attempt to empower our women, to make them capable of earning an income will not only improve the family, but Nigeria as a whole.”

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