Humanitarian Social Innovations is excited to welcome Global Health and Education Alliance to our community of social entrepreneurs.
More than 25 years in the making, the Global Health and Education Alliance was founded by Dr. Nnachi Oko to make medical care and education available to underserved areas around the world. Now, with the construction of the organization’s first medical care site in Ebonyi, Nigeria underway, HSI is excited to welcome the Global Health and Education Alliance to its community.
Driven by a desire to help those in need, founder Oko has led medical mission work across the globe for more than 30 years. He became inspired to provide medical care and education to communities that lack basic health services, but realized that in order to properly address the needs of these communities in the long term, he needed to establish a platform for more permanent impact. As a result, the Global Health and Education Alliance was born, with the goal of creating permanent medical service and education sites in areas of need.
“Dr. Oko was inspired to establish the Global Health and Education Alliance when he realized that only a permanent site would address the ongoing medical needs of the populations he had been serving on medical missions,” said Anna Molony, assistant to Oko. “In 1994 he began taking steps to build a permanent facility in a part of Nigeria that had no access to medical care. What started out as a personal mission eventually became the Global Health and Education Alliance.”
Through these medical facilities and learning centers, the organization aims to train local citizens in basic medical care, provide facilities for visiting practitioners and medical students to offer services in areas of need, and give local students access to education through technology. The first site in Nigeria is intended to act as a template for future sites to extend the nonprofit’s impact to underserved communities around the world.
Refusing to Back Down from Challenges
Along the way, the Dr. Oko and his team faced a number of formidable challenges. The first obstacle was purchasing enough land to begin building a permanent facility — a feat which itself took more than two decades. Poor road access and infrastructure also made it difficult for the group to bring equipment to the site.
Progress was slowed again by the obstacle of getting water and power to the site, due to the rural location. Initially water had to be brought in from 60 miles away. After a first failed attempt to drill a well, Oko and his team consulted with a geologist and hydrologist and are making a second attempt to build a viable water source for the community, medical facility and surrounding areas.
“There are many challenges to building this site, but the goal of healthcare access is such an important one that every challenge faced will be overcome,” Molony said.
In order to continue operating and expand its positive impact, the Global Health and Education Alliance relies on the support and donations of people willing to aid its mission of providing medical care and education to underserved communities.
“We knew from the beginning that it was not going to be an easy task to accomplish. But with the efforts and contributions from people of good will, the project will succeed and serve humanity,” Molony said.
Humanitarian Social Innovations is proud to sponsor and serve Global Health and Education Alliance in order to maximize its impact. You can support the organization here.