From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
Nurses at a Kebbi State healthcare facility in Gawasu, Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area of Kebbi State are finding it difficult to treat patients, especially pregnant women who throng the place from more than seven villages for treatment.
During a visit by Sunday Sun, on Friday, to the health facility located along Mekera road showed that three midwives attending to patients, were working under unfavourable conditions.
It was gathered that the hospital, built by the immediate past administration of former Governor Nasamu Dakingari lacked drugs, hospital equipment, electricity, water, security, staff quarters and labour room, among other necessary facilities that ordinarily should be in a secondary health care facility.
Pregnant women and other nursing mothers were being attended to in a building which had no roof thereby exposing both the healthcare personnel and the patients to the harshness of the elements.
A reliable source at the hospital who preferred anonymity confided in Sunday Sun that about three months ago, rainstorm blew off the roof of the building. Two months after a representative of the government came to inspect the place and ascertain the extent of the damage, nothing had been to effect repairs.
“Not only that, there is no electricity, they often use torch at night during child birth. As you can see, their roof is open and whenever there is rain, all our clothes and hospital papers get drenched. There are no drugs, they always go to state capital to buy drugs for patients who paid for their medical bills.
“The labour room was damaged by rainstorm,” the source said.
Looking around the premises of the hospital, evidence of the decay of both infrastructural and operational facilities is very obvious as the ambulance of the hospital has been grounded even as the generator was not found to be functional. Equally broken down are the water cistern toilets at the hospital.
Contacted on the phone, the Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Umar Kambaza, and requested to speak on the discoveries made at the hospital, he said: “We don’t have a general hospital at Gawasu; it may be primary health centre, which for now is under the care of the local government area.
The Kebbi State government had earmarked about N2 billion to rehabilitate and equip 13 general hospitals in some local government areas.
Among the hospitals selected were Argungu General Hospital at the cost of N84 million; Sir Yahaya Memorial Specialist Hospital, Birnin Kebbi (N418 million); Yauri General Hospital (N400 million) and Zuru General Hospital (N87.7).
Kambaza, while briefing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House in Birnin Kebbi, said the rehabilitation and equipping of the 13 general hospitals would be followed by other hospitals as soon as the state’s revenue improved.