In Nigeria, the first reported HIV diagnosis was in 1986. Since then, the number of people living with HIV/AIDs has increased to 3.4 million, or about 3.1% of Nigerians from age 15-49. Art and Dorothy Helwig saw this incredible need and in 2004 founded the faith based NGO, Gembu Center for HIV/AIDS Advocacy Nigeria (GECHAAN), to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic. They started a campaign to spread awareness of how to prevent HIV transmission. Through the “reach every village” visitation campaign, they worked with village elders and met with local people to train and grant a deeper understanding of the transmission of the disease. The work also extended into secondary schools to teach the most at risk group of Nigerians about HIV prevention.
GECHAAN expanded with the arrival of HIV testing machines, and now runs the Lifeline Services Clinic and Pharmacy for the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDs. The clinic personnel have tested over 200,000 people to date. Infants whose mothers have died are brought to the clinic by caregivers to receive formula. They are trained how to use the formula and provide the best possible care for the infant.
In 2014, Dan and Tina Gibbs became the Directors at GECHAAN. GECHAAN’s services have expanded tremendously in the past decade. In Feburary of 2016 the Lifeline Centre opened its first ward for 24/7 inpatient care. It now has 3 wards and 3 private rooms with a total of 21 beds. The plan is to increase operations within the next 5 years to a 100-bed hospital with surgical services, clinic and pharmacy.
In the fall of 2015, Professor Patrice Conrath led a group of Bethel University math and computer science students, in an Operations Research course, through a study of the GECHAAN clinic and pharmacy. They studied the activities and flow of patients and staff through the current GECHAAN clinic and Pharmacy set-up, in order to anticipate growth. Through the study, students created a data gathering plan that Dan, Tina, and the GECHAAN staff implemented, and then processed the data to create a computer simulation model of the clinic. This allowed the class to explore several possible changes and recommendations to improve patient flow and service, reducing long wait times and better utilizing staff resources.
At the same time, Dan wanted to expand the use of technology to serve the entire clinic. He worked with a sub group of Bethel Students and Denise Nelson to communicate system requirements. In January, she joined forces with another professor from Bethel, Eric Gossett, to search for a comprehensive systematic solution. After trying several possible options, they recently found a viable software/technology solution to support the planned GECHAAN expansion. They determined a plan of action, successfully ran feasibility tests, are currently configuring/developing the system and soon will be ready to start implementing the application for use in the pharmacy, clinic and throughout the hospital in Gembu.
We are incredibly excited to see how God is orchestrating it all, using many hands and minds both in Gembu, Nigeria and here in the USA! We are now at a point where YOU have an opportunity to be a part of the amazing things He is doing. New hardware is needed to support the future growth and help GECHAAN continue to be a vital resource for providing excellent care for the sick and needy.
To support this planned growth and better serve the people of Gembu and surrounding villages, a new technology infrastructure must be put into place. This new framework will allow GECHAAN to more efficiently and effectively administer medication (Pharmacy), give quality medical attention to their patients and allow nurses, physicians & lab technicians to communicate and accurately track each patient's treatment. The solution will include: a main server, thin client touchscreen computers, tablets (many employees do not type, so accessible platforms will be needed), a solid WiFi clinic / hospital network and Intranet, printers and wiring.
Dan and Tina are planning to return to the U.S. in May for a short period of time. We would like to bless them with the software configured hardware and financial resources needed to purchase components to complete the innovative technology solution for GECHAAN. We can’t do this without your help! Every dollar is appreciated and will go to help build a better tomorrow for those in Gembu.
To read more about Dan and Tina, or support them directly, please visit www.standingbeside.com and Support Dan & Tina Gibbs .
TOGETHER, we can make a tremendous difference! Though the task at hand is MONUMENTAL, nothing is impossible with GOD
~Denise Nelson & Patrice Conrath
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