Our Irish-born foundress, Mother Mary Martin, was actually in Nigeria when she made her first profession of religious vows, which marked the foundation of MMM, back in 1937. In the years since then MMMs have seen many developments and changes in Nigeria.

Today we are involved in health care at several different locations. We have two hospitals. One is at Eleta in the city of Ibadan in Oyo State. The other is at Mile Four, just outside Abakaliki, in Ebonyi State.

At Itam, in Akwa Ibom State, we have a Family Life Center, where Sister Ann Ward pioneered the treatment of women suffering from vesico-vaginal fistula. This is a residential unit because treatment often requires several surgical interventions.

Elsewhere we are involved in community-based health care, training of traditional birth attendants, and control of diseases such as TB and Hansen's disease (leprosy). As in other countries where we work, a considerable amount of effort is devoted to programmes related to the HIV pandemic.

We have a multi-cultural novitiate at Ibadan. Many professed MMM Sisters who come from Nigeria are working as missionaries in other countries.

Back in 1921, when our foundress was a lay missionary, she went by canoe up the Cross River from Calabar and then trekked on foot the rest of the hundred-mile journey to Onitsha. She saw the teeming multitudes of people without health care. That inspired her to return to her home in Ireland and look for companions who could help her address the needs.

Many decades later, her inspiration is still with us as we labour in places as far-flung as the remote village of Fuka among the nomadic Fulani herdsmen, to the city of Benin where we work to prevent young women from being lured overseas to become victims of human trafficking. Our hospital at Eleta on the outskirts of the city of Ibadan and another at Mile Four near Abakaliki need a lot of funding. The same is true for our specialist unit for the repair of obstetric fistulae at Itam.

MMMs in Nigeria are involved in:

  • General hospital services and primary health care
  • Services for HIV, TB/Hansen's disease, and women with obstetric fistulae
  • Natural family planning
  • Anti-trafficking awareness-raising
  • MMM novitiate and vocation promotion


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