In Their Words: Increasing Access, Transforming Lives in Bauchi with the 72-hour Makeover

by | Jan 3, 2019

The Challenge Initiative supported Bauchi State in conducting 72-Hour makeovers of five primary healthcare facilities. The makeover – one of TCI’s proven approaches – aims to ensure a conducive environment for the uptake of quality family planning services through a physical transformation of the health facility that engages the community in the process. This community engagement and rapid physical renovation also transforms the minds of facility staff and increases client confidence and their willingness to access services. Read some of their stories below: 

Sekina Ahmed Abubakar providing care to a client in the renovated Isa Yuguda PHC. Photo credit: Martins Enemali

During the three-day makeover, Sekina Ahmed Abubakar, Officer-In-Charge of Family Planning of Isa Yuguda PHC, was out of town and away from the facility. She returned on the day of the commissioning and was amazed at the transformation that had taken place.

“When I resumed that Monday morning, after entering the maternity [ward], I was thinking I was in a wrong place. I had to go out and look at the signpost to check if I was in the same facility that I left on Friday,” she said. She then asked, “Please, how did you people do it? The quality of everything inside is out of this world. Before now, this clinic had many clients but did not have a waiting area. Some of the clients used to stand but now we have enough space. The patients are very happy. We are seeing increases in the number of clients. Thank you, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency and TCI”

– Sekina Ahmed Abubakar

Increasing Client Visits

Hadiza Maikudi says the 72-hour clinic makeover has restored her faith in her country. Hadiza is the Officer-In- Charge of Bayan Fada PHC.

When we first met with TCI and they showed us their innovation to renovate a Family Planning Unit in 72 hours, we were thinking it was just these usual Nigerian joke, not knowing it will be a reality here and it has come to pass. They renovated our facility within 72 hours and provided us with standard equipment. We need this TCI to be with us for a while, everything with them is different, straightforward and quick results. We used to have five to seven clients. after the renovation, we now have over 15 clients in a day. By the time the news gets out throughout the community that the Family Planning unit is renovated, I am very sure that we will have a lot more clients.”

– Hadiza Maikudi

Sparking Demand for Family Planning Services

Amina Muhammed, a mother of six, accessed family planning services for the first time in Bayan Fada PHC after the 72-Hour clinic makeover. She was referred to the facility during the social mobilization activities to generate demand for family planning services at the commissioning of the renovated Bayan Fada PHC. She spoke of her experience at the facility.

“I was at home and some people came and spoke with me about family planning. They gave me a card to come to the facility. I told them that there are normally too many people at the facility, but they told me the Family Planning unit has been renovated and expanded. When I came, I was surprised. The place is very good now. I have a sense of privacy. The service provider counseled me and did a check-up to see which method is better for me. I will inform my friends to come to the facility and see for themselves.”

– Amina Muhammed

Alleviating Fears

Similarly, Aisha Abdulahi, a repeat client at Wuntin Dada PHC, spoke of the impact of the makeover on her personally.

“Before the renovation, I used to feel shy to come for my monthly injection because there was only one waiting room for everyone, including men and women, and I didn’t feel comfortable about it. But when I came today, the new place is very comfortable; the waiting room is big; and I feel like I am being protected. I no longer have anything to fear”

– Aisha Abdulahi

Engendering Community Ownership

The 72-Hour makeover is executed with the support of community members. This is to ensure that they recommend the best artisans to undertake the makeover and oversee the work being done by the artisans. Participating also gives the community a sense of ownership in the facility.

Auwalu Yakubu, the Leader of Bayan Fada Youth Development Association, supported the 72-Hour clinic makeover at Bayan Fada PHC and pledged the community’s commitment to secure the health facility.

“When they [TCI] said they will renovate this old building here in 72 hours, I did not believe it until the work started. Then, I realized that the work can actually be finished as planned. We are very happy for this in our community. We are providing maximum security in this facility to secure everything they brought for this facility. We will make sure everything here is going fine. We have announced in our meeting for men to ask their wives to come and access services here.”

– Auwalu Yakubu

Attracting New Providers

Hassan Adamu, the Chairman of Wuntin Dada Village Development Committee, said the community was very happy to be part of the 72-Hour makeover and expressed his hope that they are able to attract a doctor to the facility.

“This 72-Hour makeover is very effective. Our community is very happy. TCI and the Agency brought life to a dead building. We did not know much of what TCI was before, but now almost everyone in the community knows that it is The Challenge Initiative. They are happy that the community members were involved in the renovation, and this is encouraging more women to come and access healthcare services, not only family planning. Before, putting women, men and children in a small place discouraged some women to come here. But, now. the place is already crowded with women. The community is very happy with this. Before the renovation, the community donated drugs to the facility worth over N350,000. Now, that the facility has been renovated, the community is working to bring a doctor that will be resident in the facility here and treat cases. We are on it and, very soon, we are going to implement that.”

– Hassan Adamu

Inspiring Innovation and Change

The Bauchi State Family Planning Coordinator Hajiya Yahaya described the 72-Hour makeover experience as “an eye opener to us in Bauchi State.”

Habib Yelwa, Director of Administration and Human Resource, Bauchi State Ministry of Health, shared similar sentiments.

“The 72-Hour Makeover is like a shock to Bauchi State. All of a sudden, within a short time, people are seeing development/renovation/infrastructure within their community. And, the beauty of all of this is: Those people within that community are the ones involved and they take ownership and nobody will come and do anything to that structure because it’s theirs. Development and security-wise, this is good. They are happy [that] they are involved. This is another beauty of the 72-Hour makeover. A big and massive development within a short time is the kind of initiative that Bauchi State and even Nigeria nationally needs at the moment.”

– Habib Yelwa

Affirming the “miracle” of the 72-hour makeover was Garba Gamawa, Director Primary Healthcare Bauchi Local Government.

TCI’s 72-Hour makeover is like a miracle. That’s why people are surprised and at the same time appreciating TCI’s effort because even the government was concerned about how a facility can be renovated in 72 hours. To cut the story short, it became real. TCI has brought something like innovation to us. Bauchi people are happy, the government is happy and we the committee members are happy. I am very sure Bauchi State will copy this model.”

– Garba Gamawa