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Mary Ahuzi

Research student,


I joined a Catholic religious women congregation after a secondary school education in1979, and pronounced my first and final religious profession in the same religious order in1982 and 1993 respectively.


Academic studies:

Expected thesis submission: Combined Prof. Doctorate Candidate at the School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales.

2010: MSc Nursing Studies (Part time) School of Nursing Cardiff University, Wales.

2004 - BSc (Hons.) OU, London Kent.

2002: Diploma in Health and Social Welfare OU London

2002: Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion OU London

2000: Graduate Certificate in Health and Social Care OU London

Professional training:

Midwifery training:          

1983- 1986. ( RM )  School of midwifery Cath. Maternity hospital Waterside Onitsha, Anambra State Nigeria.

Nursing training:

March, 1988-1990- (RN) School of Nursing, Catholic hospital Ihiala, Anambra

State, Nigeria.

Additional Certificates:

1994: Grundbaustein Deutsch als Fremdsprache (Akademie Klausenhof (Bocholt)

1999 : GOETHE-INSTITUT Mittelstufenprüfung

April-June 2005: Quality Manager in Gesundheit und  Sozial Wessen,  Akademie für Leitung Soziales und Organisation, (ALSO), Heidelberg, Germany.

August - Dec. 2008: Palliative Care Nurse (Ev. Semina Haus Mühlheim an d. Ruhr), Germany.

Professional experience:  

2011-till present - Social Medical officer/Discharge manager in Catholic Clinics, Geriatric Acute & Rehabilitation hospitals Ruhr University Teaching Hospital Bochum, Germany.

2006-2010- Senior nurse in Catholic Clinics University Teaching Hospital (Senior People’s residential care Home) Oberhausen Germany.

2003-2005-Senior nurse in Caritas Organisations (senior people nursing home Gelsenkirchen, Germany).

1996-2002-Senior nurse Catholic Clinics, St. Vincenz, University teaching hospital, Duisburg, Germany.

Sept.1994-1995-Adaptation Experiences as a Nurse/Midwife in Catholic Clinic St. Johannes (Now Hellos), University teaching hospital Duisburg, Germany.

Jan.1991-1993-Nurse/Midwife in St. Mary’s Catholic Hospital and Maternity Umuagwo Imo State Nigeria.

1990-1991-Nurse/Midwife in Madonna Catholic St. Maternity/Hospital Nnobi, Anambra State, Nigeria.

June 1987- 1988 -Midwife in Madonna Catholic Maternityl/ Hospital, Nnobi Anambra State, Nigeria.

Languages:   Fluent in English, German, and Igbo (Spoken and written).

Posts held:

2003-Superior Religious community, HHCH Duisburg, Germany.

1994-2002 -  First Co-ordinating Regional Superior/Project manager Religious Congregation Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus (German Region).

1992- 1993- Superior Religious community, HHCH Umuagwo, Owerri, Nigeria.

1991-1993- Matron in charge St. Mary’s Catholic Hospital, Umuagwo, Imo State, Nigeria.

1978-1988 - Assistant hospital matron Madonna Catholic Hospital, Nnobi, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Projects managed and realised/ Fund raising activities

2015- Fund raising /equipment Fund raising activities of  for nursery/Primary school, provincial HHCJ Ogidi, Anambra State, Nigeria.

2010 - Fund raising/provision of transport facilities for religious community, Mkpogu, Port Harcourt, River State, Nigeria.

2009- Provision of walking aids for people with disabilities in Ezinihitte Local government area (LGA) Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria.

1997-2001- Fund rising for Building and equipping the Religious Administration house, Ifuho, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

1999- 2000 –Water supply improvement (building water- bore holes) for girl’s secondary school (Juniorate ) Amumara, Mbaise , Imo State, Nigeria.

1998-1999 - Fund raising/ Provision of transportation facilities for generalate, congregation of the handmaids of the holy child Jesus, Akwa Ibom State Nigeria.

1998- Establishment of communication facilities for Generalate, Congregation HHCJ, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

1997- Provision of materials for acquisition (sowing) center HHCJ Owerri, Imo State,Nigeria.

1997 - Re- building and re-establishment of a religious congregational bakery house Ikot-Ekpene Akwa- Ibom State Nigeria.( To  enable supply of bread to the villagers).

1997- Equipment of a major religious house, HHCJ, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.

1997- Rebuilding of a burnt down House in a girl’s secondary school (Juniorate) Eriam, Afaha Obong, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

1996- Establishing and Equipping Catholic Hospital, Ancila, Iju Lagos, Nigeria.

1996- Fund raising for /Organisation of the first international celebration of final profession of religious vows (Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus Congregation).


2009- Patron of People with disabilities in Ezinihitte Local Government Area (LGA) Mbaise, Imo State, Nigeria.


My special interest is to improve my academic standard while I continue to work to promote radiant health and well-being for different groups of people, young and old.  I fill fulfilled working and establishing such projects which help the poor and other people in need to banish low-esteem and to realise that they too, are an integral part of the society.

For many past years I have worked in hospitals as a midwife, a nurse (both in Germany and in Nigeria). I have worked in nursing homes as a palliative nurse (Germany).  I have been in charge as a matron of a maternity/ hospital in Nigeria.

Presently, I am working in a university teaching hospital as a social medical office/Discharge manager (Germany). Throughout these years of my care practices and advice-giving experiences, I have implemented, and advocated as much as possible, a proactive care to my patients and their relatives.

For many years , my special duty involves  activities to raise fund for building, establishing and optimising such projects like: Hospitals,  water supply centers (bore holes),  food supply center (Bakery),  renovating, and equipping houses for both nursery and secondary schools, providing transportation facilities for some of our religious houses, supporting and optimising acquisition center (sowing center), and providing walking aids to organisation of people with disabilities (projects  in Nigeria).    Such collaborative active and proactive health projects  are meant to promote, and support radiant health and well-being for individuals in need of rehabilitation, be it people who are physically, mentally, economically, spiritually, psychosocially and emotionally sick, or people with disabilities, people with impaired health conditions, the poor, the down trodden, the aged,  people who are jobless and other vulnerable individuals.

On the above note, I would like to explain that my understanding of rehabilitation may not be the same as the general notion about it.  A group of people or community can be suffering from unmet rehabilitation needs due to lack of facilities like hospitals, food centers, water supply centers etc. Therefore, in my understanding, any support given to individuals or groups of people who are having rehabilitation issues to realise their uniqueness in the society, helping them to make the best out of their situations, and making their habitats habitable, is an unadulterated REHA-BILI-TATION .

It is important to note that one of the goals of medical, nursing and social care practices is rehabilitation. Therefore, REHABILITATION is an important process to making the act of inhabiting (habitation) in the places of living (habitats) fitting (habitable) for the individuals or communities (habitants) living there.  Thus, the key to achieving rehabilitation is the identification of the rehabilitation needs.

Personal advantages of my research

My present research to explore and identify the rehabilitation needs of the older Igbo Nigerian population, from the perspectives of the older Igbo people themselves and their careers/relatives has boosted my ability in my clinical practices,  increased my knowledge and handling abilities, as well as my interest in working on my future projects.

Present works in Progress:

a. Submission of my Thesis.

b. Organisation of Materials and equipments for establishment of a medical diagnostic center in owerri, Imo state, Nigeria.


Sr. Eunice Okeafor (Provincial Superior) Provincialate of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus HHCJ, Ogidi, Anambra State, Nigeria (religious authority)

Dr. Nicholas Uwazie (Sponsor) Germany

Mr. Kevin Ahuzi  (Sponsor) Germany>

Dr. Jane Harden (1st Supervisor)

Dr. Raymond Samuriwo (2nd supervisor)


Research interests

Expected thesis submission: Combined Prof. Doctorate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales

Title: Rehabilitation of the older Igbo population: A Constructivist grounded theory study.

General problem: Rehabilitation of older Igbo Nigerian people above 65 years of age is a complex problem.

Specific problem: The rehabilitation needs of the older people ages 65 and above have not been explored and identified from their perspectives. Without their perspective we cannot address their needs. The older Igbo Nigerian people have difficulties gaining access to rehabilitation services and therefore are exposed to increased risk of disease and injury, humiliation and abuse.

Research Question: What are the rehabilitation needs of the older Igbo Nigerian Person aged 65 and above, and how can we identify these rehabilitation needs from the perspectives of the older Igbo people?

Purpose: To investigate and identify the rehabilitation needs of the older Igbo Nigerian people from the perspectives of the older Igbo people and their care givers.

The older Igbo people require rehabilitation care (Promoting independence for the older people; Care in their homes, helping them to gain access to available rehabilitation services, and provide understanding of their needs) to help them maintain their roles in their environments.  This technical use of the term rehabilitation differs from a common-sense notion or colloquial usage, referring to the continuing involvement of older people in their particular social and cultural context. In this study the term ‘older people’ refers to individuals aged 65 and above.

The consequence of old age is that it withdraws the older people from active accomplishment and renders their bodies less powerful to perform their daily roles in their environments (Bond et al., 1999; World Health Organisation (hereafter, WHO, 2011). The WHO’s (2011) report posits that partial or unmet needs ultimately hinder functional ability and leading to loss of autonomy, and consequently, hospital admissions or institutional care. Identification of the needs of the older people and relating these problems to relevant issues of the individuals and their environments is priority in rehabilitation process.

Research in the field of health and social/rehabilitation care of the elderly in general, and elderly Africans in particular, has noted that as the world’s population grows, is the proportion of the growth in the world’s elderly population (while the world’s population grows, that of the older people instead of decreasing, rapidly increases) (both in the industrialised and industrialising regions), (WHO, 2015; UN, 2000; Chatterji et al. 2015). Factors that facilitate the increase in the population of (the) older people have been noted to be a reduction in child bearing and advancement in health and medical care systems (Beard and Bloom 2015; Broun and Bond 2016). Growing awareness of the importance of rehabilitation care for older people has resulted in an emphasis on identifying their rehabilitation needs (Bailey and Way 2006). The needs of the Igbo Nigerians, as well as those of most Nigerians and other African people above 65 years of age are complex problems which has received limited attention in recent scholarship,

This research study investigates the rehabilitation needs of the older Igbo ethnic group of Nigerians (over 65 years) using a ‘constructivist grounded theory’ CGT method (Charmarz 2006). These needs are identified, investigated, and explored from Igbo participants’ perspectives. This study describes the cultural, social, and economic context of the Igbo people, their geographical location, traditions and beliefs, and what makes them unique, which helps to understand their needs. The study examines and identifies the specific rehabilitation needs of Igbo participants in the Nigerian context, and at the same time, describes how these needs are met or not met in the context of the evolving socio-cultural and economic situation in Nigeria (Ajomale 2007). This exploration will unearth the impacts of the met and unmet needs on the lives of the older peoples and their families.

Research site: Igbo land, Nigeria in West Africa.

Population:  16 participants

Methodology: Qualitative Approach.

Research Design: Constructivist grounded Theory CGT (Charmarz’s).

Data Collection: Semi-structure interview.

The Importance of this work

This work might help close the knowledge gap in the rehabilitation issues of the older Igbo people. The result of this study might also help  Nigerian society change their behavior, and acknowledge and improve their responsibility towards the rehabilitation of older people. Also, the older people themselves and their relatives would better understand the challenges surrounding their rehabilitation issues and the need to adjust to changes and challenges brought about by the evolving socio-cultural and political context in Nigeria.


Rehabilitation of the older Igbo population: A Constructivist grounded theory study.


Harden, Jane

Dr Jane Harden

Senior Lecturer: Adult Nursing