Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria

St. Anthony’s Alliance has donated $10,000 to Faith Alive USA, a non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting the works of the Faith Alive Hospital in Jos, Nigeria. The hospital was started in 1996 by Dr. Christian Isichei, a physician who received training at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and in 2007 became a friend of Jim Tryon, founder of St. Anthony’s Alliance.  These days, Faith Alive Hospital is a busy place, caring for 10,000 patients a month, many of whom are infected with HIV, or both by HIV and drug-resistant tuberculosis. It also provides prenatal care, maternity services and treatment for malaria.

The donation, along with others will help fund the purchase of a GeneXpert © machine, which can quickly and efficiently diagnose drug-resistant TB, also known as Multi-Drug Resistant TB or MDR. The purchase is made possible by a $25.9 million grant in 2013 from the World Health Organization to purchase 220 of the machines for 21 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia,  which could help save an estimated 62,000 lives. The government of Nigeria is considering Faith Alive Hospital for one of the badly-needed, state-of-the-art machines. The grant was responsible for a 40 percent reduction in the price of the expensive cartridges used by the machine to shorten the diagnosis time of TB from weeks to only a few hours. This will allow caregivers in Jos to immediately start patients on treatment and halt the spread of this deadly form of the airborne disease.

In 20 years, Dr. Isichei has helped shepherd the growth of Faith Alive Hospital from a clinic in a four-room apartment to a three-story hospital. It also provides other valuable services in the region, including nutrition education, home-based medical care, HIV prevention education, support groups, a food and clothing bank, transitional housing for the homeless and scholarships for children. In addition, the Faith Alive Foundation in Jos provides small-business loans for patients who present a workable business plan.

A nurse tests a patient for TB in Faith Alive Hospital

The goal for the future of  the hospital, which currently provides most of its care at no cost to its patients, is to develop a sustainable income stream. This may include charging for some services and less reliance on international aid.

In a recent email to St. Anthony’s Alliance, Dr. Isichei expressed gratitude. “What a great partnership for humanity. Thank you St. Anthony’s Alliance.”

 

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