Nigeria: Why I Built 13-Bed Health Clinic in Jos Community - Petty Trader

16 October 2020

Jos — Respite has come the way of residents of NEPA Mile 7 community of Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State as a petty trader, Kawu Muhammad Idris, has committed over N10 million to build a clinic/maternity in the area.

Idris named the hospital Al-Zunnur Clinic and Maternity set up to serve all members of the community irrespective of tribe or religious affiliation.

Daily Trust reports that there was celebration in the community on September 22, 2020 when residents of the area and guests gathered to witness the opening of the clinic constructed by the public-spirited trader.

NEPA community is a suburb of the Tin City of Jos which developed in recent times with about 500 residential houses in the area.

Idris, a provision seller who is also resident in the community, said it took him almost two years to build and furnish the clinic.

He said the idea was borne out of the desire to solve the problem of lack of health facility faced by the people.

He noted that the people have been battling with the challenge for over a decade leading to preventable suffering and loss of lives.

He said what specifically prompted him to embark on the project was the case of a pregnant woman who was in labour but there was no health facility nearby to take her to for the desperately needed attention.

The situation, according to him, led to the death of both mother and child as she fell while in labour pain and died before she could get maternity health care.

"Also, sometime last year, I was at home asleep when a neighbour, came knocking pleading that I should help convey his wife who was in labour to a hospital.

"There was no health facility close by," Kawu recalled adding, "We rushed to Yelwa community, another suburb of Jos but before we got to the hospital, the baby was born but it fell and its head hit the ground.

"The baby, a boy, eventually died because of the fall and lack of medical care."

He said the incidents made him to conclude that with a clinic in the community, that would help in arresting such preventable incidents in the area.

Explaining how he raised the money for the building of the hospital, Idris said, "I sold some of my landed property and added some of my savings and, Allah willing, that saw the construction completed.

"I, however, had a challenge towards the end as what remained of the money was not enough to purchase a good scanning machine.

"So, I did some thinking and that led me into asking every member of my family to contribute N500 for the balance to purchase the machine and thanks to them they all cooperated."

Kawu emphasised that he built the clinic to assist the community get out of the health challenges and not for profit, adding, "All I want after putting up the structures and facilities in the clinic is for it to maintain itself by ensuring that payment of staff and its maintenance are done from the services rendered by the health personnel.

There are 11 staff in the clinic - a director, two are doctors, six nurses and two attendants.

He explained that patients would only be charged some amount of money that would be used to pay the staff of the hospital their salary and maintain the place, adding that his contribution was the building and equipping of the facility.

The equipment installed in the clinic are scanning machine, auto-analyser, electronic health records among others

The leader of the community, Abubakar Garba Haris, expressed delight over the development, describing Idris as a Good Samaritan who deserved commendation not only from the residents of the community but the state government.

"We thank Almighty Allah for blessing us with Kawu Muhammad who has compassion in his heart.

"This is a gesture that we did not expect at this moment of economic hardship; that someone would spend such huge amount of money for selfless service," the community leader said.

He added that with the quality of building and the personnel, he hoped the philanthropic trader meant well for the community and called on all and sundry to cooperate with the management of the clinic to ensure that the desired goal was achieved.

Muhammad Gali Adam, a resident of the area and beneficiary of the medical service in the clinic, commended Idris for spending his resources for the good of the community.

He said, "Before the development of this clinic, we had to travel far to get medical attention.

"But now, we have one in our community.

"We thank Idris for doing this to us.

"It is only Allah that will pay him for the good that he has done."

Dr John Sonny, the leading doctor at the hospital, said he was prompted to be part of the project due to Idris's passion for service to humanity.

"What prompted me to be part of the project is the selflessness of the man.

"He wants to help people. When he met me for the first time in a hospital he told me that he had a dream of building a hospital.

"I told him it is possible because it has the advantage of helping to touch people's lives," he said.

The doctor, however, advised other individuals to emulate Idris's gesture to meet the health care need of the people.

He said, "There is what we call Universal Health Coverage.

"This system is saying that everybody should have quality health and one of the key ways to achieve that globally is when you have a proliferation of private or charity hospitals.

The Commissioner of Health, Nimkong Larndam, he was aware that the hospital had been registered with the ministry.

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