By Bashir A. Bashir
Dedication and hard work are the main ingredients of growth and development in any career. It is common practice for SFH to support dedicated volunteers to secure full-time jobs.
Muhammad Muhammad Nangere was a commercial driver in Potiskum LGA, Yobe State. He drives an 18-sitter Toyota bus owned by his boss. He works to convey people and goods from Yobe to Sokoto and some states in northern Nigeria. Muhammad has been a philanthropist and is well-known as a blood donor. He donates blood twice a year. On seeing the efforts of Muhammad, the District head of Bolewa, A ward, Lamba Usaini, initiated him into the Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS), which he learned through advocacy by SFH-HeRoN project
SFH-HeRoN trained Muhammad as an ETS driver in March 2021. The training built the capacity of the drivers to transport women with pregnancy-related conditions to health facilities. Since then, Muhammad has been very active and transports women and children to health facilities for health care in Potiskum LGA of Yobe State. He transported over 65 pregnant women to health facilities from April 2021- January 2022. Witnessing his effort by PHC Potiskum, the communities and traditional leaders recommended him to be the zonal ETS driver to handle the latest ambulance provided by the European Union and Save the Children. The ambulance’s purpose is to ensure the timely movement of patients and clients from facilities in Potiskum, Fika and Nangere LGAs. Transferring patients from PHCs to secondary and tertiary facilities and back to PHCs and communities. It was also used to transfer patients to facilities in other states, such as Dala Orthopedic in Kano.
Now Muhammed works as an ETS driver on a salary. He said, “I am happy with what I do because of the numerous calls for appreciation from beneficiaries and organizations”.
Here are some testimonies from the patients that Muhammed transported:
“At about 11:00pm, on 16th May 2022, I was on night duty, and my wife started labour. She called the ETS driver, and he came immediately and took her to the hospital where she delivered,” said Abubakar Muhammad, a security guard residing in the Jigawa community, a suburban area in Potiskum LGA of Yobe State. Due to the security situation, motorcycles are not allowed in Potiskum. The major source of transportation is tricycles.
Jigawa community is very sandy, and tricycles cannot move in the community, compounded by the curfew in the evening. This makes it hard to reach because one must trek a long distance to the main road to use public transport and cannot come out late at night due to the curfew. “I thank SFH-HeRoN for coming up with a lifesaving scheme,” said Abubakar. “I was worried about how my wife would go to the hospital to deliver, especially if I was not around. HeRoN made this possible, thank you!”