Nigerian Christian Hospital Celebrates 50th Anniversary
by: Stafford North | May 16, 2017
This medical work in Igboland actually began as a clinic in 1965, but in August of 1966 it was opened as a hospital. Except for a forced closure during the Biafran war, the hospital has operated continuously for these past 50 years.
Earlier this year a large crowd gathered on the hospital campus to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of NCH. Special shirts, seals, and pins were made for the occasion, refreshments were served and a full celebration program was presented. Numerous people including both Americans and Nigerians who had been associated with the hospital through the years were present for the occasion including retired hospital staff, the IHCF African Christian Hospitals Board representatives and prominent preachers and church leaders who had been instrumental in the success and survival of NCH through the years. Also present were government dignitaries, representatives of the Trustees of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, the “landlords” of the hospital, and numerous traditional rulers.
Twenty five special “Awards of Honor” were given to people who had played significant roles in NCH through the years. Many more were undoubtedly deserving of special recognition as well. It was a beautiful and fitting celebration of a huge accomplishment. We look forward to what the next 50 years will hold!
Dr. Henry Farrar was doctor who first established the hospital which began “in the bush” on 119 acres donated by three villages eleven miles from Aba, the nearest city. Its purpose was to serve the sick and the poor while being an instrument to spread the gospel. Many different American doctors have served both short-term and long-term stays to work with this hospital but the six full-time doctors now are all Nigerians.
Currently the hospital has 110 inpatient beds, 150 Nigerian workers, two full-time chaplains serving the sick, and a housing compound with a visitor’s house. Over 20,000 patients are served annually with medical, surgical, pediatric, obstetrical, and outpatient services. The Nigerian government has approved the hospital for both family practice and obstetrical training.
The hospital serves not only as a blessing for the sick and the poor but is a mission point for teaching and preaching the message of Jesus. Countless people have become Christians because of the hospital and its outreach.
In addition to Nigerian Christian Hospital, the IHCF African Christian Hospitals ministry oversees and participates in six other hospitals, clinics, and projects in the African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, and Tanzania. For more information about contributing in various ways or about serving at the hospitals, go to www.ihcf.net . You may also call to Searcy, Arkansas, at 501-268-9511.