Miracles do happen!
So, in the last few months, I visited the W.H.O. office four times and literally begged them to establish their community health project on grazing reserves. They said the Fulani were not part of their plan.
So I got a hold of the W.H.O. curriculum and with the approval of both the State government and the reserve leaders, started working to set up the project ourselves. The women were first given one month's literacy training in Hausa language. A doctor from the nearest large hospital, Dr. Fatima, agreed to teach the medical segment.
Then, just three days before Dr. Fatima was to start the training, she backed out!
In the meantime, we'd met members of the local government's immunization team led by two Health Educators, Hauwa and Isah. In fact, they were standing with me when I got the phone call from Dr. Fatima. I explained to them about the project of health training on the reserve and showed them the curriculum.
And here's the miracle!
Hauwa said, "We are W.H.O. facilitators. We've taught this material and are even now supervising health workers outside the reserve. We'll be glad to come into the reserve, teach the course and train your teachers to supervise your trainees!"
And that's exactly what they are doing now. We just finished an amazing week of training - just the beginning, as our women still have a long way to go before they will be ready to handle the entire amount of information involved.
In this segment, they were taught how to diagnose malaria, (with rapid test,) diarrhea and cough, when and how to treat these, and when to refer the children to the nearest health center.
Isah worked for two hours on Friday going over the medical forms with our teachers who will supervise the women.
In two weeks, Hauwa and Isah will evaluate the women and either approve or recommend further training on the three medical conditions before they begin working as first responders in their communities!
In Abuja, we were refused help. But now, we will have two professional educators, already involved in this very program, willing to work with us, incorporate our project and make it a success!