…Water, toilet facilities in bad shape
By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Appalling health facilities in many hospitals and clinics have forced women in dire need of family planning services to shun such hospitals, apparently to avoid contacting other health challenges.
One of the health facilities captured by Arewa Voice correspondent in Nasarawa Gwong in Jos North Local Government Area is reportedly in a bad shape, requiring urgent attention in order to save women and children from avoidable health hazards.
Amina Dauda, who used to access her health services from the clinic, has now stopped going th Gwong PHCere, complaining that the place is very filthy for anyone to use as a medical facility.
“The filth in the facility is annoying and every appointment I keep keeps in the facility reminds me that this place is not a hospital,” she told AV in an interview.
She is right. A visit to the compound vindicates her position as the compound is replete with dilapidated structure, broken down sewage emitting offensive odour despite the presence of many women and children in search of health services.
Speaking on the general collapse of infrastructure in facilities offering family planning and other services in the State, the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Livinus Miapkwap, State Family Planning Coordinator, Hannatu Dung, Head, Nasarawa Gwong Primary Healthcare Clinic, Mohammed Uba, a Caregiver in the facility, Lohya Andrew, State FP Programme Officer, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria, Mado Edith blamed the development on lack of funds.
Over the years, family planning experts in the state have advocated for a separate budget line in the annual budget to effectively carry out activities due to the difficulties they encounter yearly in fund release. For instance, the sum of N5 million was budgeted in 2016 but released in 2018.
The sum of N23 million budgeted for health services in 2020 is yet to be released.
A family planning caregiver, Lohya Andrew noted: “This facility, which has existed for a very long time has a very poor sanitary condition coupled with lack of staff and medical consumables. “Right now, we are out of stock, before now, they used to bring them from Gombe once in two months. The last stock we received was in July for July and August; we expected a new batch in September but up till now, nothing has come in the form of supplies for us.”
But the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Miapkwap, admitted that though the facilities were in bad shape it was the responsibility of local government areas to maintain them.
“It is just about a month or two ago that they moved all the primary healthcare centres to us so we collaborate with the local government to see how to fix things.
“That is why we always say that instead of building new ones, it is better to fix old ones. We have part of the budget for renovation but we have not gotten any approval for now,” the ES said..
Despite the poor state of facilities, Arewa Voice findings reveal that I60,864 women in the state have so far enrolled for family planning services despite the deplorable state of some of the health facilities.