How small actions can increase access to PCV tests and blood

A couple was recognized as MamaYe Champions after donating a generator to Azare General Hospital’s lab.

Nadia is a 300 level student of Biochemistry at Bauchi State University. As part of the fulfilment of requirements for the award of a degree in her course of study, she applied for an internship at Azare General Hospital, Azare town, Bauchi State. 

Nadia began her internship in high spirits, excited about the opportunity to work in a lab and experience more than what she might have been taught in the classroom.

But her excitement did not sustain, as the lab battled with poor electricity supply. So, almost every day, Nadia witnessed emergency cases that had to be referred to another facility, while the hospital missed the opportunity to receive blood donations as the lab could not store the blood. As such, patients had to get blood outside the facility, and get services as cheap as 150 Naira for 1, 500 Naira instead. 

Nadia could not keep up with all the hassles. She wanted to do something about it.

Nazeef hails from Bauchi State. He is a lawyer. He is married. 

Several times, his wife complained to him about the poor electricity situation in Azare General Hospital’s lab, and how it put the lives of pregnant women in labour at risk. She suggested to her husband that a generator be donated to the lab where the women would have easy access to blood or PCV tests (tests used for blood work). The generator was donated, all thanks to the passion, suggestion and insistence of Nazeef’s wife, Nadia!

When I visited the lab with my team, the lab’s technicians were confident that Nazeef and wife’s generator would save the day during the usual power outages.

Nazeef invited my team and I to his house, after we called him on phone that we learned about his wife’s kind gesture towards the survival of pregnant women and newborns. After meeting him and his wife, we also met the couple’s lovely, 6-month old Elham, born in the same Azare hospital.

Nadia said while she was giving birth to Elham, she too could have faced similar situations encountered by other pregnant women who couldn’t access PCV tests or blood. Since she didn’t face such a fate, she walked in the shoes of other pregnant women and took action to save their lives.

Nazeef later told us that philanthropy ran in the blood of the couple’s families, even though they were not looking for any attention. Well, if they were not looking for any attention, they got one from us and we were not going to be silent about anyone who sparks action for maternal and newborn survival.

He announced to us that he was ready to rally other people in taking actions that would save the lives of pregnant women and newborns, as more hands were needed for the cause. We too announced to him that he and his wife had thus become MamaYe Champions.

While we were discussing Nadia at the lab, her supervisor from the university came asking about her performance during the internship. He didn’t ask me, but I jumped and told him that Nadia also performed excellently in character. I showed him the generator, which donation she facilitated. After all, education is also about good character.

This was the part that touched me the most. Whatever good action you’re taking, keep taking it. Posterity will gauge every action taken. And going by Nadia’s supervisor’s visit just when we were discussing her kindness, judgement of man’s deeds may not be left to posterity anymore.

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