A Nigerian Medic, Dr. Elkanah John Garang has donated hospital equipment worth hundreds of thousands, to a rural healthcare center, built over a decade ago by Government.
Elkanah is not a high earning professional, but would not stand the thought of rural people, pregnant women especially, hiking tens of miles across unsafe routes in his native Ambul village in Central Nigeria’s Bokkos area of Plateau State, to access healthcare.
“It breaks my heart that healthcare systems in my country are in a deplorable state, despite abundant natural resources,” said Elkanah, 38, in a telephone interview.
Elkanah has worked in a Nigerian public health department before, an opportunity that exposed him to the “scary realities” of the Nigerian healthcare system.
The father of one previously sent cash support to dozens of poor individuals for healthcare, food and family welfare, but does not seem to finish.
Last week, after receiving complaints about poor equipment in Comprehensive Primary Health Care Centre, Tafaya-Ambul, 40miles west of Bokkos Local Government headquarters, Elkanah bought delivery beds, privacy screens, drip stands, stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers, aprons and other equipment, and shipped them to local authorities.
Last two months, the activist sponsored the reactivation of 18 boreholes and the drilling of several hand-fetched wells in different rural communities in Bokkos.
The donations are “life-saving”, said Chairman of Bokkos Local Government, Mr. Yusuf Machen.
“Government is overstretched and might not be able to identify and/or solve some of these problems but they remain responsibility. We are therefore grateful for this show of kindness, a bigger relief to Government than the people benefitting from it,” Machen said while taking delivery of the donated hospital equipment in Jos.
A recent study of Primary Healthcare centers in Plateau State shows that only 1 out of ten has functional equipment and staff, a huge threat to rural healthcare being a first contact for many.