[Province of Nigeria] The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, Province of Nigeria, on the 28th of December 2013 erected a Primary Health Post in the community of Zhiko village. This act of Charity was one of those used to mark the golden jubilee of our Province as we called to mind God’s love and faithfulness for the past fifty years.
To understand the impact of this occasion on the people, it is important to shed a little light on the location, occupation and the condition of the people living in this community.
Zhiko is a village in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. It is about 20kilometers away from Abuja metropolis. It is inhabited by the Gbaghi people whose main occupations are farming (for men) and selling of firewood (for women) got from deforestation of their virgin land.
The people of Zhiko are among the many groups living at the margins of the society who are often never remembered in government development plans. They have no good roads, electricity, good water supply and health facility. But for one Primary School, there are no schools in the area.
Our discovery of Zhiko village is the fruit of our weekly Home Visitation. We have, since our first encounter with the village entered into the life of the people, sharing their challenges and discerning with them possible ways of surmounting them as a people. One of the major needs identified was that of a health facility, that will cater for the health needs of the people since there was none in the village. An attempt to respond to this need prompted the erecting the primary health post.
The opening ceremony was actually an eye-opener for many of our guests who never knew that there were people living in such level of poverty. Indeed the ceremony drove home in their minds the charism of the Daughters of Charity.
After the opening remark, the Chief of Zhiko- Chief Bulus Wakili JP gave a warm welcome to all especially the Daughters of Charity. He was grateful to God for making his people see the light of this remarkable day. He thanked the Daughters of Charity for all their efforts to bring development to their land.
In a speech, Sr. Mary Okoro, the Co-ordinator of St Vincent’s Hospital, Kubwa Abuja explained the clinic was in line with the Catholic social teachings which calls for a focus on rural health to enable rural dwellers have better access to Primary HealthCare.
Apart from the many health benefits such as basic health services, improved maternal health, reduction of mortality rate, etc which this project will bring to the people, she expressed the hope that it will bring government attention to the host community and attract more potential partners and volunteers for further socio-economic development.
The Chief of Zhiko unveiled the sign post: Daughters of Charity HOLY INNOCENTS’ PRIMARY HEALTH POST CENTER, Zhiko, Bwari Area Council, FCT Abuja. The building consists of a consulting room, dispensary room, treatment room and a multi-purpose hall.
We give God the glory for making it possible for us to plant this little seed in Zhiko. We pray that He will bless this little step and make it a stepping stone to greater development in Zhiko land.
By St. Vincent’s Community, Abuja, Nigeria