How it all began
Prior to the establishment of Essential Health Network for Rural Dwellers (EHNRD) in 2009, the founder Prof. Henry Uro-Chukwu had long been implementing community based health programs. As a public health physician, he served as the Ebonyi state government’s Grassroots Mobile Clinics Director between 2003-2011. During this period, he together with other dedicated staff carried out community mobilization, health promotion, health education, nutrition counseling, fight against Harmful Traditional Practices, fight against maternal deaths and reproductive health injuries, advocacy meetings, medical outreaches to the indigents and hard-to-reach rural areas in Ebonyi state.
Successive governments in Ebonyi state not only retained these programs but also depended on data generated from such programs for health system strengthening, provision of proper waste disposal, sanitation and other sustainable environmental projects, while still retaining his services as State Program Coordinator. The efforts Professor Uro-Chukwu and team put forward in the fight against maternal and reproductive health injuries through another government project, The Mother and Child Care Initiatives (MCCI) led on one hand to the establishment of the First National Centre in Nigeria for the management of Obstetric Fistula, an institution that then engaged him as a Director of Training, Research and Mobilization and on the other the expansion of MCCI services in the areas of free welfare services for orphans and vulnerable children, HIV programs, Gender-based violence prevention and women empowerment.
It was from this pedigree, exposure to the predicaments and needs of the rural communities and resultant wealth of experience that informed the vision leading to the establishment of EHNRD in 2009, with the initial sets of activities targeted at identifying rural indigent vulnerable groups with serious medical and surgical challenges for intervention by partners including SOLARIA ONLUS, Italy.
Immediately after its establishment, EHNRD became committed to attracting and assembling reputable team that will ensure the materialization of its vision. When this was done, further efforts were then dedicated to designing activities that will attract the needed funding for the realization of the organization’s objectives, and working hard to maintain a high level of integrity and professionalism when it comes to our relationship with donors and to set good standards for potential donors.
What we do
Our services are mainly focused on improving health for rural communities. To achieve this, we have divided our focus areas into eight key themes:
- Rural health services and health promotion
- Gender and social inclusion
- Health system strengthening
- Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
- Leadership and governance
- Nutrition and wellness
- Policy development and capacity building
- Advocacy and community mobilization
Where we are
To date, the majority of our successful projects has been in areas of advocacy, sensitization, community mobilization, maternal health and gender-based issues. Our involvement and level of success recorded in these areas are testimonies of our robust organizational structure and highly experienced managers. Every new project continues to see a big jump in improvement over previous ones. What does not change is our unrivalled commitment to hardwork and integrity during project implementations.
We have also continued to grow in human and technical capacities which often emanates from our innovative project execution strategies and networking mechanism between our organization and partners. While we actively engage in capacity building for our clients, we do not fail to cease any opportunity for building the capacity of our human resources especially in relevant technical areas.
The awesome credentials and expertise of our management team particularly our Executive Director and Project Implementation manager whose incredible experiences in public health, mobilization and relationships with major government, community and professional stakeholders have proved key to our success stories. Our emphasis on dedication, hardwork and integrity has over the years contributed immensely to our successes in activities with high impact results including policy changes and new policy creation at state and local government levels, mother and child health improvement, gender-based violence prevention, and free treatment of Obstetrics Fistula.
Our overall goal as a social organization is to ensure a holistic environment and population health. This goal has been perfectly curated into our 8-theme intervention areas. While we have been actively involved in programs bothering on advocacy, community mobilization, sensitization, gender-based issues and capacity building, same can also be said of other equally important areas of our focus such as WASH, leadership and governance and nutrition and wellness. All our intervention areas were carefully selected from the start based on need assessment and strong knowledge of the population context. Therefore, we do not hope to leave any one area untouched by reason of funding inadequacy. That is why we invite well-meaning partners, donors and grantors who share our common goal to join in their various capacities to ensuring health for the underserved population.
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.