Tuesday, December 16, 2008


In the West African Hausa language the "lafiya" greeting means "health and well-being." It became the name given to a medical program begun by the Church of the Brethren in 1971.

Lafiya was directed by J. Roger Schrock, medical coordinator for Brethren mission work in Nigeria. The program comprised three areas: education, village outreach, and construction projects. It began with the training of Nigerian doctors, nurses, midwives, and para-medical workers and an interim program to train four teams of Nigerian medical personnel to conduct clinics for prenatal care and monthly "under-five" child welfare clinics in the villages. Hospitals at Lassa and Garkida were remodeled and enlarged and a training center was constructed at Garkida for a rural health center.

The rural health program directed by John Horning emphasized maximum local praticipation and the utilization of village health workers. It provided a three-month course in simple curative medicine, health education, and disease prevention using innovative mthods to teach rural people about health and preventative medicine.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia