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ABOUT THE HANDMAIDS OF THE HOLY CHILD JESUS HEALTH SERVICES

In furtherance of the healing ministry of Christ, the Sisters of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus aim at giving holistic care to the sick, aged, and challenged members of society. In line with our vision and mission the focus of our work remains to ensure affordable, standard healthcare services to the general populace, giving particular attention to the low income group who otherwise would not have access to standard healthcare. Women and children dominate our services. Reduction of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity informed our special attention to this high risk group. A more structured and specific attention to people affected and living with HIV/AIDS as well as Hospice care have been incorporated into our services. The scope of our services ranges from preventive, diagnostic and curative interventions mainly in primary and secondary health facilities. All the health facilities are open 24hours daily including weekends and public Holidays. We have also devoted a more structured attention to the health needs of our sisters.

We endeavor to achieve our vision and mission through collaboration with Dioceses, local lay medical and health workers who render both facility – and community – based services. About 14 Sisters work in various government health facilities spread across the 3 provinces in Nigeria. Following the health system in Ghana all our Sisters in health apostolate in the Province are government employed. Those in the Mission territories of North America and Germany, United Kingdom are engaged in either Church related or public health institutions providing bedside nursing care in hospitals and homes for the aged.

The Superior General appointed a health Committee who advises, assists in monitoring and maintaining standards in the health facilities and among professionals.

The Congregation is involved in the management and services of 23 Health Facilities in Nigeria, 7 of which belong to the congregation, 16 to various dioceses. No of Hospitals = 6, Clinics 17.

All the clinics and a recently reconstructed hospital at Ihitte Mbaise in Imo State are located in the rural villages with low income population. The rest of the 5 hospitals are in the suburban areas of Port Harcourt in Rivers state, Gwagwalada in Abuja, Iju/Ifako Agege in Lagos, Ibiono in Akwa Ibom, and Akokwa in Imo State.

Apart from recently initiated Handmaids Clinic Mbok Obudu, Cross River State, all the Health Facilities owned by the Congregation are under the Central Administration.

The Congregation has 16 medical Doctors and over 60 Nurses/ midwives as well as varied paramedical professionals in its membership.

STRATEGIES

We give preventive and basic health education to families, women and young people. We encourage and promote routine health checks and screenings.

We offer comprehensive maternity services from antenatal through delivery to post-natal, child welfare with all essential immunization services.

Our counseling unit gives direction to chronic ill patients with diabetes, hypertensive diseases, HIV/AIDs etc.

We make use diagnostic medication and equipment for adequate diagnosis effective treatment and care (Laboratory, Radiological and Ultrasound) services.

We provide medicals, surgical, obstetric, gynecological and ophthalmic services to in and out patients.

We ensure procurement of genuine medications and surgical.

All our facilities emphasize and promote good relationships among staff, staff- patients and affected persons

CHALLENGES

Space

The space available at Ancilla Hospital Iju has been over maximized. There is no space anymore for anything not even for an additional bed or corner. This limits in-patients admissions especially private patients. The pharmacy, Labour/delivery room, theatre and diagnostic units are minimally provided for. The standard of our services will be enhanced and the revenue of the hospital will be greatly improved if the issue of space is addressed

Poverty and finance

Given the location and reality of our rural population, while people generally appreciate the quality of care, the inability to pay for services rendered has been a major limiting factor to the quality and growth of the services. Availability of finance is a major challenge. While a good number of the facilities are able to sustain the running cost, others especially the smaller units are not able to break even. Fund for capital projects such as purchase of Medical and diagnostic equipment, light generator, vehicle, building construction are generally not available without external intervention.

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