Before, when the inhabitants of the village of Hové in rural Togo were in need of health care treatment or consultation, they had to travel several kilometers on a road in very bad condition to reach the hospital. The cost of travel – in both time and expense – was prohibitive. Thus the people of Hové had a dream to have their own health care center in the village.
Despite challenges, including lack of support from the Togolese government, the community decided to solve its own problem by developing a health care project committee, which turned out to be a success. In 2012, a student organization, WAO, at the University of Pau in France collected the funds required to construct a health care center in Hové. The Action 10 Program Partner, S.E.VIE, coordinated between the university and the village, and the District Chief in Charge of Health Issues authorized the construction of the center.
The WAO project wrapped up with the conclusion of the center’s construction in December, 2012. The center contains a wing with two rooms for the treatment of patients, a wing with toilets, and a rain water collection tank. It is now run by an educated and experienced nurse. In January, 2013, Action 10 took over the partnership with S.E.VIE to run the center.
To the left we can see the three beds available inside the Center and to the right Ms. Tchipotou Fiossomé the nurse who is responsible for the Health Center together with Francois Klusté the CEO of S.E.VIE.
The Center allows the people living in Hové access to primary health care. Services include treatment and consultation for malaria, pregnancy, childbirth, hypertension, circumcision, snake bites, trauma, and more. The Center also organizes awareness-raising events to encourage vaccination, especially for children and pregnant women – all made easier because women can now give birth in a clinic and the baby will receive vaccination and also a birth certificate.
Treatment is paid for by the patients and the fee is low enough for patients to manage. The nurse uses the fees to support the Center and for her own salary. The average income per month for the Center is 110,000 CFA. Out of this, the nurse’s salary is 85,000 CFA per month and includes transportation. A simple home was built close to the center so that the nurse did not have to live in the village. The construction was financed by the revenue from the Center. The house is not safe enough for the nurse and her family to live in and must be improved (see the house below).
The Center has the villagers’ trust and it now serves about fifty patients per month, among whom are about five maternity patients. In addition, the Center provides health consultation to almost 60 people per month. The Center keeps records of performance and patient records are shared with the hospital.