Madonna Hospital - Nigeria
2012/02/28
By : Chris Cloyd
Producer / Director Chris Cloyd and Cinematographer / Compathos partner, Anna Schwaber have teamed up to produce Lady Madonna, a film about the Madonna Hospital Project in Umuahia, Nigeria.

In Nigeria, like many places in the world, healthcare is a privilege only those with means are able to afford. The lack of infrastructure, emergency rooms, and any sort of health insurance system mean that most people will go their whole lives without setting foot in a medical facility. Over 90% of the health care service in Nigeria is provided by private physicians, which provide health care at an unaffordable costs. A patchwork of under funded government hospitals provide a platform for corrupt doctors to solicit patients for their own private facilities, which provide better care, but at a higher premium.

Umuahia is one of the major cosmopolitan towns in Nigeria with a population of 285,000 people. The Impact of the Madonna Hospital is direct and immediate to the lives of the people of Umuahia. Through the efforts of the Diocese of Umuahia and a small NGO half a world away, an abandoned project has been given new life. Through the remarkable actions of the West African Development Support Organization, a Colorado based non-profit, the possibility of health care is becoming a reality for a community that has been overlooked and left behind in a pay-to-play system.
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This project is a remarkable example of global grass roots activism in an age when at home, and abroad, governments struggle to address the very real problems that face people every day. Through international outreach, ordinary people have made a profound difference in the lives of a community they have never visited and people they will never meet. They give because they can, or because it is the right thing to do. They work to help others because they still believe that individuals acting together can change the world.

The Madonna Hospital was founded on the principle that anyone who made it through her doors would be treated regardless of their ability to pay for services. In March 2011, she officially opened her doors to the poor and under-served communities of southeastern Nigeria. What started as a one-room clinic has expanded into a two-story complex with a network of clinics in the surrounding communities.

The Madonna Hospital already serves over 560 patients on a regular basis at the out-patient clinic in the hospital. A Medical Doctor and several Registered Nurses are there to meet the needs of anyone who walks through her doors. Typical cases seen include Malaria, Typhoid Fever, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis, and Pre/Post Natal complications. Hypertension complicates many medical diseases in the patient population. An in-resident Ophthalmologist also runs an Eye Clinic each Friday.

The hospital will serve a great diversity of people both in the city and surrounding rural area that consists of members of many faith communities including Catholics, Muslims, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Pentecostals, and other African faiths. All are welcome and served by the hospital.

Lady Madonna film is a film of celebration for the community Madonna Hospital serves in Nigeria as well as an exploration of the health care challenges we continue to face here in the States. The film asks if health care is a human right, or just a luxury for the well to do. In addition to traveling to Africa, we have filmed people here in the States whose only means to access the care they need is through stadium clinics held once a year. It is remarkable to see that half a world away, people face the same health related challenges.

Lady Madonna Films is excited to announce that we are raising funds to complete Post Production of our feature documentary. Your contributions of time, money, and-most importantly-ideas have already affected hundreds of lives in Nigeria. It's as big a challenge as putting a roof on a hospital, but we are confident that we can make a difference. Every dollar that is donated goes directly into putting the best images onto the screen. From editing, to color correction, and totally immersive sound mixing, Post Production costs can quickly add up. Your support means that we will be able to give this film the care and attention it deserves to raise awareness for the people of Umuahia.

Please help Lady Madonna finish the film by summer of 2012 through their Indiegogo campaign:

INDIEGOGO

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Chris Cloyd is a Director's Guild of America award winning and internationally recognized filmmaker. Chris completed his M.F.A. from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. While at USC, he was awarded the Jeffery Jones Scholorship for Writing for his work on the screenplay Yasin, which screened at the Berlinale International Film Festival as well as the Dubai International Film Festival.

Chris studied acting and directing at Creighton University, where he earned a B.F.A. and Certificate of Business Administration. His graduate thesis 'coons' has screened in over 30 film festivals around the world including the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, the Montreal World Film Festival, and the Bilbao International Film Festival. It is now available for iPad download through the Play Festival Films app. In 2010, Chris was a fellow at Film Independent's Project:Involve.
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