Abia’s QIT Demonstrates Sustainability After Storm Damages FP Unit in Made-over Facility
Contributor: Ikechukwu Opara
The Challenge Initiative (TCI) introduced a number of high-impact approaches that helped to strengthen Eziama Primary Healthcare Center’s (PHC’s) linkages with the surrounding community in Aba North local government area (LGA) of Abia state. As a TCI demonstration facility, Eziama PHC underwent a 72-hour clinic makeover in April 2019, which includes sourcing artisans and labor from the community, as well as establishing a quality improvement team (QIT). The QIT includes the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the facility along with community members, such as Ward Development Committee (WDC) chairman, ward leaders, religious leaders and youth representatives.
Unfortunately, a terrible thunderstorm devastated the facility in September 2020, significantly damaging the family planning unit. During a QIT meeting, the OIC of Eziama PHC and the Family Planning supervisor of the LGA, Mary Anaba, explained the extent of the damage from the rains and that the roof of the family planning unit would need to be repaired. The WDC chairman, Elder Vincent Ogbonna, promised to repair the roof as part of the community’s support to the facility, stating:
This is the little we can offer to make sure there is a conducive environment for clients who come to the health facility. This is also to appreciate the facility for always being open 24 hours and ready to render health care services.”
After health care worker strike in Abia state ended, the facility roof was repaired by the WDC. Mrs. Anaba shared what the significance of the repaired roof means to Eziama PHC and how this close connection with the community did not exist before TCI:
The repair of the roof is a welcome development as we can now use our FP waiting room. Patients can now sit comfortably and have privacy. We thank the QIT team and WDC chairman for their speedy intervention and thank you to TCI for setting up this QIT team to help our interaction with the community.”
The commitment of the WDC to take action on behalf of the facility demonstrates not only community ownership in ensuring quality service delivery, but will also ensures the sustained increase in client flow achieved as a result of the 72-hour clinic makeover. Since the makeover, Eziama PHC has been used as a site for coaching and mentoring and on-the-job practical sessions on the provision of long-acting reversible contraceptives.
Having a functional and responsive QIT will enable the facility to continue to solve its own problems and challenges into the future – with or without TCI’s support.