Meet the Fellows: Michael, Community Health Educator

13 Jul

Chife Foundation Fellow Nwakonuche Michael Obiakor

An established member of the community who previously attended Anambra State College of Health, with support from The Chife Foundation, Nwakonuche Michael Obiakor recently returned to school to pursue a degree in Health Education. A father of four, he says his motivation came from a desire to “save lives by helping people protect themselves against diseases.” He now devotes his weekends to attending classes, anticipating that this higher education will pay off in the future by helping him “plan for a better tomorrow and make maximum use of scarce resources.” He sees poverty, lack of access (especially with regards to long, inconvenient distances between various communities and the nearest health facility—made worse by the region’s poor road and transportation networks), and ignorance about orthodox medicine as the primary challenges for improving health care in Anam.

When asked how he thinks that Anam New City will change the community, he answers that “it will improve the living conditions [by providing] basic amenities, such as health institutions, adequate safe water, and electricity.” Michael has high hopes for the new clinic and health care program: “if health institutions, such as a clinic or hospital, are built and equipped with all the necessary health equipments and well-trained doctors and health personnel, I think Anam people will attend the hospital…and their health condition will be improved.” Michael’s medical background is already proving invaluable to the project—this summer, he is working with Dr. Julia Strickler and other interns to provide critical information on the status of existing health facilities in the region, which will be vital for designing Anam’s new health center.

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