Along with Education, Methodist Church was concerned about health especially rural health care. Today Methodist Church Nigeria is the trail blazer when it comes to Rural Health care among all denominations in Nigeria.
Conference Health & Medical Department was created in order to oversee all health facilities, tertiary institutions of health and social health-related centres owned by the Methodist Church Nigeria. 70% of these facilities are located in rural areas while the remaining 30% are at both semi-urban and urban areas of the Conference Area.
Conference Headquarters, the Education and Health Department were merged
together and a Minister in person of Very Rev’d Okon Ekerendu, M.Ed
(Birmingham, U.K) who had a background more in education was overseeing the two
important sections. Later on the Health Department was separated from the
Education Department in year 2009 when Deaconess Ibironke Oworu, a Registered
Nurse with specialty in Psychiatric Nursing and Genetic Counseling was employed
to manage the Health Department. The Conference Medical Board made up of
Doctors, Nurses, and Bishops of host Institutions and others listed in the
Church Constitution were sworn in and were charged to come up with a mission
statement using Health as a tool.
The Board came up with this Mission statement ‘TO MAKE HEALTH CARE A VESSEL OF CHANGE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF EVANGELISM IN METHODIST CHURCH NIGERIA’.
first hospital established by Methodist Church Nigeria was the Wesley Guild
Hospital in Ilesa whose pioneer medical Director was Dr. Andrew Pearson who was
a Methodist missionary. The hospital was the best at the time in the whole of
the South West and patients visited from across the Country it was very famous.
Dr Pearson worked at the hospital until he retired even when the government
took over the hospital along with missionary schools. A chapel was built within
the hospital to Minister to the spiritual needs of the patients and relatives.
At the death of Dr Pearson he was buried within the hospital and his tomb is
there till today and has become a kind of tourist attraction. His own daughter
Mrs. Ali Titilayo Redmore nee Pearson
visited her father’s tomb about five years ago.
Today in memory of Dr. Andrew Pearson we have the Dr. Andrew Pearson Memorial Medical Center in his honour at Igbo-Ora in Elekuro Diocese. The Chapel remains in place to identify the hospital with Methodist Church Nigeria and to continue to minister to the spiritual needs of the community.
the takeover of the Wesley Guild Ilesa by the government, a few members of the
Wesley Guild of the Methodist Church in Britain showed interest in partnering
with Methodist Church Nigeria to deliver health care to people in the rural
areas of the Country where government presence in the area of health is lacking
and this led them to Ekiti where they took interest in the small Methodist
Hospital at Ifaki Ekiti which was established by the then Bishop Rt. Rev. Luke
Odubanjo. The Methodist Hospital Ifaki (now known as Methodist Hospital
Omuo-Ekiti) was the very first rural hospital supported by the Wesley Guild U.K
led then by Mr. Peter Grubb.
Later on the Royal Cross Methodist Hospital at Ugwueke in Uzuakoli Diocese was established. They took interest in the rural areas and so many more hospitals, Clinics and Social Institutions were established. Through the international partnership and financial support all the Pals at the Leprosy Center in Uzuakoli were rehabilitated and empowered in various skills. Due to the partnership they continued to support the facilities with financial grants towards the payment of staff salaries especially for Doctors and Nurses and they usually visited Nigeria every two years during which they travel throughout Nigeria to inspect the Clinics and Health Institutions and they still do this till date.
In year 2012, the Wesley Guild United Kingdom celebrated 100 years of the establishment of the Wesley Guild Hospital Ilesa at Wesley Chapel London and thereafter a fund raising luncheon was organized and the funds realized that day was sent to Methodist Church Nigeria to establish another hospital in the South Western part of the Country. The Conference Medical Board went round and finally settled for Odo village in Remo Central Diocese and the hospital will be known as the Wesley Guild Centenary Hospital. Presently the outpatient department of the hospital has been completed from funds donated by a Methodist; the completion of the first phase is ongoing.
Later on the Wesley Guild group metamorphosed into the Trustees of the Nigeria Health Care Project. The Wesley Guild U.K registered all the Health institutions they support in Nigeria as a Charity Organisation in the United Kingdom and therefore they set up a Board of Trustees and it is through this medium they have been raising funds to support Methodist Church Nigeria Health Institutions. Over time they have also attracted Nigerians in the Diaspora into the group and together they have been raising funds to support Nigeria. Peter Grubb was decorated as a Knight of John Wesley for his missionary and supportive role to Methodist Church Nigeria over the years, due to age Sir Peter Grubb stepped down his role as the Chair of the Trustees and today the Chair is the daughter of Late Dr. Andrew Pearson, Mrs. Ali Titilayo Redmore nee Pearson. The Coordinator of the Nigeria Health Care Project (NHCP) is Dr. David Cundall a retired Public Health Practitioner and one who is interested in training health care givers in the current practices of health care.
In the last six years Dr. David Cundall has organised various training programs in maternal and child care in Nigeria through which we now have local trainers at some of our Centers and for the training programs he would usually come along with Doctors and Nurses some of whom have never visited Africa before and they would travel all the roads of Nigeria for the training programs. Dr. David Cundall has also been decorated as a Knight of John Wesley in appreciation of his role towards rural care in Nigeria through Methodist Church Nigeria.
Trustees of the NHCP have also assisted some of our Institutions in setting up
income generating projects that will enable them to be self-reliant and self-sufficient
and be able to pay staff salaries. Methodist Hospital Apa now produces Sachet
and bottled water. The Motherless Babies
Home in Igede Diocese will soon start their production of sachet water.
the help of the Trustees of the NHCP, the Bethesda hospital at Igede has a
Child and Maternal Unit fully equipped with modern equipment. A School of
Nursing is to be established at the Royal Cross Methodist Hospital Ugwueke and
various infrastructures which will make this happen are being put in place at
the hospital. Also through their financial support the College of Health
Technology at Ebenta in Igede Diocese will soon receive their final
accreditation! Today we have three Psychiatric Centers, two in Benue
Archdiocese and one in Archdiocese of Umuahia.
Local churches had been encouraged to have health facilities that will take care of their members’ health issues during and after services. This is to avert or control any unforeseen developments that may occur.
In 2021, the Very Rev’d Dr. Janet Daramola was posted to Conference Headquarters as the head of Department, Health & Medicals.
MCN Health Facilities
Presently we oversee 13 health facilities, 1 tertiary institution (Methodist College of Health Technology) and 5 social health facilities, aside the general monitoring of the others.
Other Progammes Run by the Department
(1) Creating awareness on any prevalence diseases or psychological ailment that may jeopardize the health of the populace.
(2) Attending ecumenical health meetings such as Christian association on health.
(3) Collaborating with other health agencies.
(4) Holding seminars, workshop for schools, women and men the church on any outbreak or government related health laws.
(5) Observation of the medical week yearly throughout the conference area with a targeted theme.
(6) Monitoring of health status through all levels of the church.
Past and Present Staff in Health & Medical Department
Very Rev’d Okon Ekerendu, M.Ed(Birmingham, U.K)
Pioneer Secretary, Health & Medical – 2003 -2008
Deaconess Ibironke Oworu, R.P.N, Gen C.
Secretary, Health & Medical – 2010 – date
Very Rev’d Dr. Janet Daramola, Ph.D.
Director, Health & Medical – 2021 - date