By Boluwaji Obahopo, Lokoja
The people of the Otutu community in Okene Local Government Area of the state have appealed to the state government to provide a Primary Health Care Centre in the community that will cater to their health-related issues.
The community made the appeal during a town hall meeting organized by an NGO Connected Development (CODE) with members of the community on the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability (CTAP).
The CTAP project is basically meant to track the state of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and vaccination distribution in Nigeria.
The Otutu community leader, Yaqub Isaq-Awihi said the community is in dire need of a health centre, as members of the community usually trek some kilometres to the council headquarters before they can access medical care.
Yaqub said since the withdrawal of medical personnel from the building provided by the community some years back, the community has grappled with challenges in accessing medical care.
He said the community is ready to provide a building for a startup of such a health centre pending when the state government could provide a befitting structure.
He said though there is a private health centre in the community, the complexity and intrigues surrounding the centre has made it inaccessible for the community.
Earlier, the State Focal Person for the CODE CTAP program, Mr Umar DanAsebe Muhammed said the purpose of the visit is to track and verify the state of Primary Health Centres across the state as well as see to the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines through those centres.
He said the program will help put the government on their toes on the need to see that money budgeted and released for construction of Primary Health Care service and COVID-19 vaccination are expended in the right direction.
Mr Umar said the visit will also help to get commitment from the local government personnel in the health sector to be alive to their duties and be committed to providing the best service delivery to the rural people.
“We want to get an answer as to whether the funds and infrastructure that have been donated to communities in the state, particularly at the grassroots level actually got to the community.”
According to Umar, the group monitors donations for low-income communities, and for transparency, they contact those communities to see if such infrastructure or funds are utilized as claimed by the government.
“We also visit these communities in the state, based on the information we get about the state of primary health centres, so that we can be able to demand accountability from the government or agency involved. We are primarily concerned about transparency and accountability.”