From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Follow The Money, an NGO, has said it has discovered a Primary Healthcare Centre in Delta State where mobile phones are used as a source of light during childbirth operations.
Follow The Money in partnership with the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) said the healthcare centre is located at Azagba-Ogwashi in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state.
The body decried the poor state of PHCs in communities across the country.
A representative of the group, Ms Johnny Ebimobo-Ere Bella while speaking at a town hall meeting in Azagba-Ogwashi said the time has come for citizens to hold the government accountable for ill-equipped PHCs in their communities.
Bella said a large percentage of Nigeria’s vulnerable depends on PHCs, adding that 80 per cent of the 30,000 PHCs established across communities in Nigeria lack the capacity to provide essential healthcare services.
“Our findings in Azagba-Ogwashi health centre proved that all is not well with our healthcare centres. No clean water, it is understaffed and without COVID-19 vaccine administration.
“To make matter worse, I was told by one of the patients, who refused to give her name, she said during delivery phone is used as a source of light.
“According to guidelines of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and in line with world standard requirements for PHCs, the following minimum standard must be met – functional separate toilet for males and females in the facility; availability of clean water supply within the facility; connection to the power grid and other regular alternative power sources; delivery room; in-patient ward section; maternity lying-in-section; six Junior Community Health Extension Workers (JCHEW).
“Others are two health attendant assistants; four nurses and midwives; detached building of at least 13 rooms; one pharmacy technician; one community health officer and one medical officer,” she said.
The CTAP representative added that until the NPHCDA and its leadership start identifying the challenges facing PHC facilities across the country, health centres cannot provide effective services.
Diokpa of Azagba-Ogwashi, Patrick Sunday Onyeahazia, said for the past 20 years, the healthcare centre has remained unattended to, adding that “there is no improvement, no drugs, no light, we want the government to come and fixed it.”
One of the representatives from the healthcare centre, Ogbe Aghogho who spoke at the town hall meeting, said they have two working staff and six casuals.
She further added that, since 2018, “the six casuals have been working as casual, after graduating from schools of nursing and our take home is N20,000 each every month, and this has affected the productivity.”