New Water Supply Dramatically Improves Lives at Community Hospital in Nigeria
Constant Water Supply Means a Busy Hospital
In the first quarter of this year running from January-March, Brown Button Foundation (BBF) was able to commence and complete the drilling of a water borehole for the community hospital Ilisan-Remo in Ogun State which serves more than 14 neighbouring villages.
Prior to our intervention, women in need of health facilities and requiring medical attention have had to fetch water themselves or get their relatives to fetch water for them in advance of medical treatment.
No More Hauling Your Own Water to the Hospital
The impact of having fresh water readily available is profound.
Mrs. Kehinde Lawal, a midwife at Ilishan Remo Community Hospital in Ogun State, Nigeria, describes how the availablilty of a constant water supply – from a water borehole provided by Brown Button Foundation (BBF), has impacted the lives of the patients and staff at the hospital.
"Water they say is life, and is the most basic need for survival.
The people of Ilishan Remo Community know this too well – especially anyone who falls ill and takes a loved one to the community hospital to get treatment.
You are expected to come with your own supply of water to care for the sick; this to some people, was an uphill task.
All this, however, took a turn for the better in March of 2012 when Brown Button Foundation completed and donated a borehole water supply for the hospital.
The joy of the patients and staff alike knew no bounds.
Life will be easier for both staff and patients it will not only improve general working conditions for the staff, but also reduce the burden on those caring for their loved ones as there would be no need to fetch water to the hospital every day.
The impact of the water project on the hospital and the community has been great. The water supply facilitates an effective healthcare delivery system for all, and sundry. It serves as a medium for infection control using universal precautions, such as hand washing before and after being with a patient, for washing and sterilizing hospital equipments, as well as aiding the speed of recovery of patients as infection controls are in place with the help of a constant water supply.
The water is also used in maintaining a clean hospital environment.
It is used for the general cleaning of the hospital, delivery room (before and after delivery), for bathing the mother and newborn child, for handwashing before and after each procedure.
The water borehole provided for us by Brown Button Foundation has impacted [us] positively in the lives of the people of Ilishan Remo Community – and also the work of healthcare service providers, as our job is now easier, effective, and efficient."
The hospital had gone more than ten years without a water supply.
Our provision of a water borehole for the people of Ilisan community means that the members of the community can now access the hospital without thinking of the cost implications and the stress of fetching water.
More importantly, it makes the health facility more attractive to use by the public for birth delivery, as lack of water at the facility is one of the major reasons why people in the community preferred to visit traditional birth attendants for delivery.
In the two months of completing the water project, registration for delivery by locals has increased from about five monthly, to more than 12.
According to midwife Mrs. Kehinde Lawal, the hospital has never been as busy in the more than 10 years of its existence as it had in the last two months of having a constant water supply.
New Partnership - Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia)
In addition to providing a water borehole for the hospital, we were also able to gather and attract people resources to our cause. This quarter, we were able to get the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) to partner with us and send us clean birthing equipment to aid our traditional birth attendants training.
The kits are still enroute to Nigeria.
We also got a massive increase in the number of volunteers who work on various aspects of the organization, depending on their specializations. Because of our increasing number of volunteers, we have been able to run our social media pages as well as our website blog more effectively.
We were also able to get the president of the Traditional Birth Attendants Association in Ogun State to buy into our ‘refer and reward’ strategy of connecting women with skilled help in the rural areas.
This effectively means we have solid support for our upcoming training in Irolu, next quarter.
Brown Button Foundation in Semi-finals for prestigious social entrepreneurs award
Also, the organisation made it to the semi-finals of the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship.
Echoing Green Fellowship is a fellowship that supports start up social entreprenuers who use innovation and their talents to solve the world biggest problems.
Of the 3,508 applications, we made it to the top 350 semifinalists. Results for the finals are still being expected.
All these achievements have encouraged us and everyone who is a part of Brown Button Foundation to keep up the fight to stop maternal mortality from taking our best, connecting women in rural areas with skilled help, and giving hope to women who think their location at the point of child birth will be a disadvantage.
It’s a long journey ahead, but we will get there.
Fuel Subsidy Crisis
The big event which initially affected our work in this first quarter was the fuel subsidy crises, which paralyzed activities first week in January. It also affected costs for our programs and administration as prices skyrocketed, but we are coping well, now.
The situation as regards to the fuel subsidy hasn't changed; we all adapted to the situation.
There will always be challenges. Determination – and a positive attitude, is what makes the difference.