Since the Inauguration of the Aruike Specialty Hospital in Enugu Nigeria 1st Oct. 2016, over 130,000 patients have been treated free of all cost. In August 2020, a sister hospital was inaugurated in Alike Obowu a very rural community in Imo state almost 90miles from Aruike Specialty Hospital in Joy Village Enugu Nigeria. A totally free of all cost health care cannot be found in Nigeria from the records we have been able to gather, and as such it is always unbelievable to first timers who come for treatment in the ASH hospitals. They move from the reception, wait for their turn to see the doctor and then proceed to the pharmacy thinking at some point they will be asked to part with some money. This they do till they leave the hospital premises and then begin to ponder how this is possible.
Thousands of lives have been saved as a result of ASH hospitals and relief brought to the already impoverished rural dwellers who can barely take care of themselves and families due to the massive unemployment rate coupled with rising inflation that has affected mostly food items.
A lot of testimonies have been recorded but there is a story of Mrs. Ngozi who was diagnosed of uterine fibroid after she gave birth to her last child. Her husband fled as a result when it became too obvious because they could not afford the surgery cost. She had to live with this condition for almost 5 years.
It was a very touching sight when she came to Joy Village and met Father Ogada Charles. She looked so tired because of the heavy burden she was carrying. She said she has no where else to go and she barely gets a day’s meal. She was operated upon and in her words, she said “I have been carrying a huge burden I thought I will carry all through my life. I was hopeless because everyone deserted me. I have been given a second chance to live a normal life” this she said with tears in her eyes. In 2022, over 4000 children were treated with 194 babies delivered in ASH mother and child section. ASH antenatal and postnatal care has positively impacted the maternal mortality rate and as a result healthier babies have been delivered in the hospitals.