Chief Goddy Eze, Town Union Secretary of Oba community, Idemili South local government area (LGA), says his community’s health centre had not been providing a proper service before V2P began. ‘The doctors did not always come,’ he explains. ‘The nurses came when they liked, and the general look of the place was not encouraging.
‘When our people didn’t see anybody in the health centres, they would painfully go to the neighbouring communities or to the city.’ Chief Goddy, who also works as a V2P community-based monitor (CBM), attributes the turnaround in services in his community to the efforts made to advocate and engage with local and state governments.
V2P has provided training, support and mentoring for advocacy, monitoring and reporting on government projects, and helped build links between communities and government authorities. Using these new skills, at least 48 communities in Anambra have engaged effectively and regularly with the government to improve service delivery. Two years into the project, this active citizenship has led to many significant changes that have had a positive effect on people’s lives. ‘We started seeing government projects as our own,’ Chief Goddy says.
‘The government has refurbished our two health centres. There is a resident doctor. We also have a visiting doctor who comes along regularly with nurses. There is also a regular supply of drugs and other medical supplies.’ The government has provided a deep freezer and installed a solar transformer at the hospital. The maternity centre has merged with the health centre, while the building previously used for maternity services has become a rehabilitation centre for people with disabilities.
The nearby health centre in Umuoko-Oba has also been upgraded. ‘We are all happy with the development and are looking forward to more,’ Chief Goddy says. Oba community is confident that the improved health service will enable further development. Its next focus will be on roads.
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