CHIEF (MRS.) JOSEPHINE ELECHI was born in Ezza Ofu Village in Ezza Inyimagu, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State in 1948. She attended Covenant Primary School in Afikpo from 1954-1961. She then moved to Holy Child Secondary School in Sharon from 1962-1966. After some years of other engagements, she returned to school for her higher certificate. She attended Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) from 1993-2000 earning a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree. She is the wife of the former Governor of Ebonyi State.
Chief (Mrs)Josephine Elechi
Upon the swearing into office of Chief Martin N. Elechi as the Governor of Ebonyi State on May 29, 2007, Mrs Josephine Elechi became expectedly involved in political life. She started a Medical Apostolate in Ebonyi State, known as the Mother and Child Care Initiative (MCCI). Mrs. Elechi championed advocacy on the passage of the Mother and Child Care Initiative (MCCI) and Related Matters Law in Ebonyi State.
The Mother and Child Care Initiative (MCCI) was set out to address a very complex and complicated health challenge that confronts a great number of young but poor rural and urban women in Nigeria known as Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF). This unique initiative had as its objectives, the following:
To empower the Ebonyi women
To reduce maternal mortality
To promote an environment that will allow for the eradication of maternal morbidities
To facilitate the establishment of functional primary/comprehensive health facilities in the State and promote effective referral systems
To facilitate the establishment of cancer screening centers in Ebonyi State
To educate the public on unhealthy lifestyles and how to avoid them
To facilitate the development and empowerment of Ebonyi youths
To promote mother and child survival.
The Mother and Child Care Initiative (MCCI) was a huge success. It recorded milestone achievements in line with its objectives. With support from donor agencies, particularly UNFPA, the MCCI team led by Chief (Mrs.) Josephine Elechi constructed and equipped a Vesico-Vaginal Fistula Center for the South-East zone – thus making Ebonyi State a center of excellence in VVF management. The MCCI under Mrs Elechi, also constructed a world-class and well equipped Cancer Screening Centre in Abakaliki.
It is on record that, over two thousand (2,000) women from Ebonyi State and beyond had their fistula repaired at the National Fistula Center Abakaliki, while this woman of great virtues served as the mother of Ebonyi State. The icing in the cake is that, while repairs at the Fistula Center was free of charge, the office of Mrs Elechi, as it were, still provided necessaries for patients undergoing treatment and some parting gifts upon discharge from the Center – irrespective of the State the person came from. In addition, over four hundred and fifty (450) patients with uterine prolapse were treated and discharged by the Center.
The intervention of the MCCI also resulted in an increase in the number of life deliveries in all types of health facilities in the State. This was achieved by the extensive enlightenment of
the rural women on the need to attend ante-natal clinics and to deliver their babies only in the hospital. Motor cycles were acquired and shared to selected MCCI partners in every hamlet, with the mandate of using these motorcycles to convey any and every pregnant woman in need of medicare, to the nearest hospital.
The Mother and Child Care Initiative (MCCI) of Chief (Mrs.) Elechi also engaged in sensitization campaigns and awareness creation at the Local Government Areas, on the dangers of female genital cutting, teenage pregnancy; the relevance of girl-child education, constant self-examination for early detection of breast cancer, and need for annual screening for premalignant lesions of the cervix.
Beyond caring for the health needs of the women of Ebonyi State, Chief (Mrs) Elechi provided financial empowerment per excellence, for the widows and the poorest of the poor women. She organized Skills’ Acquisition Training for different people (including the physically challenged) at different times and donated to every successful trainee at the end of each training session, machines/equipments required for a start-up. She also acquired at regular intervals, empowerment items like grinding machines, sowing machines, hair dryers, etc, and shared the items to poor widows/women carefully selected, to provide for them, descent means of livelihood.
Chief (Mrs) Josephine Elechi, while in office, demonstrated an exceptional passion for the plight of Orphans and Vulnerable Children. With support from spirited individuals and some Norwagian partners, she provided varying degrees of scholarship for orphans. The scholarship covered students in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institutions. It is most gratifying that through this singular initiative, many Ebonyi Children who by the unfortunate circumstances of their birth may not have experienced the pains and glory of education, are today counted among the enlightened with the prospects of engraving their names and that of Ebonyi State on the sand of history, as men of great inventions, innovations and achievements.
Because, Mrs Josephine Elechi, has labored to restore hope to many and put smiles on the faces of the downtrodden, the ebonyimovers team celebrates this great and compassionate woman of honour and wishes her years of joy and laughter. Bravo!