From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Statistics released by Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Dukul community of Kwami Local Government Area (LGA) of Gombe State indicate that the number of women visiting the facility for Antenatal Care (ANC) has increased from 100 to more than 500 in a month.
The increase in the number of pregnant mothers accessing the services which are to prevent or identify and treat conditions that may threaten the health of both the mother and her new-born was linked to the $1 million supports fund that was provided by China’s South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF) for the revitalisation of the PHC in Kwami LGA.
Ruth Musa is the Assistant Facility Manager in Dukul PHC and she recounts how the intervention has turnaround the health services and coverage in the area.
‘The intervention is very much impressive. It is ongoing as you can see workers are still on-site,’ she told newsmen during a visit to the facility on Thursday.
She explained that the facility has improved from almost nothing to a full-fledged PHC that is ready to deliver health services. She said: ‘We have enough drugs, especially in the ANC section i.e. routine drugs, testing instruments are all available. It has made women to be more interested in coming for ANC as well as the delivery.’
While commending the Primary Health Care Development Agency (GSPHCDA) for the Chinese government’s intervention which was implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Ruth equally appealed to government for more intervention in the area of equipping the facility with the needed materials.
‘The bed capacity of the facility is six and all the six beds are in the female ward, the male ward is empty,’ she said.
Ruth further explained that the facility which is serving people from the immediate community of Dukul and some part of Funakaye and Yamaltu/Deba LGA’s lack laboratory facilities.
The team proceeded to the PHC in Malleri community which is about 20 kilometres from Dukul and uncovered that the health facility has been improved from decay to a lively one which has changed the life of the people of the area. Mohammed Adamu, a staff who spoke on behalf of the facility manager stated that the improvement was courtesy of the Chinese government’s support to the state.
In spite of the enhancement of the facility, Mohammed highlighted the challenges needing the attention of the state government. He said lack of adequate manpower is one of such challenges.
‘We the staff and people of the community, especially people coming to seek medical attention are commending the program. The place wasn’t like this before. It was not attended to, properly but it is now fenced with new doors, windows, ceilings, fans paintings, replacing many old things with new ones. We have 15 old beds because we admit patients here. The labour room has been renovated but there is no equipment and that is very important and we are pleading for that,’ Mohammed told reporters on Thursday in the Malleri community.