The Executive Secretary of Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Rilwanu Muhammed, said despite lack of support from development partners, the state government is doing its “possible best” in the areas of healthcare delivery.
Muhammed who spoke to WikkiTimes in a phone interview, was reacting to the paper’s recent reports on the dilapitating state of Primary Health Cares (PHCs) and other health centres across the state.
According to him with no support from development partners such as MDGs and Community Development Association, the Bauchi State government still retain the 323 PHCs spread across the political wards in the state.
“The MDGs has collapsed, there is no more support from MDGs, no more support from Community Development Association, we are only managing to see that our hospitals are working,” he said.
The executive secretary argued that many of the facilities WikkiTimes had spotlighted are healthposts located in remote areas and they are meant to be catered for by the host communities. Further, he explained that 100 percent satisfactory in the state’s healthcare system is not realistic.
The federal government, according to Muhammed has reduced its focus to 212 facilities. “But even with that, the Bauchi State government still engaging the 313 facilities per ward,” the executive secretary said, adding that the facilities are on a fixed stipdend.
“The Federal Government was supporting the facilities per ward making 323 centres. But they send a letter that they will now only work on 212 facilities in the political wards. However, the state government continues to cater for the remaining,” he said.
“If you go to any PHC out of the 1,133 and you get something that is wrong, that does not mean that the Bauchi state government is not working,” Muhammed told WikkiTimes. “We can not cater for them at once, most of them are to be taken care of by the local government and the PHC per ward is to be catered by the state government.”
He added: “Recently we renovated about 14 PHCs and constructed four new ones and that money is about N2 billion. It is very expensive to construct and put equipment now and most of them are at the completion stage, even in Bauchi town we are going to open the one in Gida Dubu and Fadaman Mada and the governor said we should wait until he will open them while doing empowerment in Bauchi LGA.
“Here in Bauchi we engaged 1,066 staff. We also engage another 160 to make sure that our 323 facilities are equipped with drugs, staff and with other things needed and even with the coming of Impact Project which is coming up next week or two, we are going to give these facilities money to start work.”
In addition, Muhammed said very soon they are going to post one medical doctor per local government who will be rotating among the PHCs in the wards, adding that two are to be posted to the largest LGAs in the state — Bauchi and Toro.
WIKKITIMES’ REPORTS ON BAUCHI PHCs
Recently, WikkiTimes visited Bimbiyo Fulani Maternity in Gi’ade Local Government Area of Bauchi State where locals trek miles to seek medical attention in far away Gi’ade General Hospital, especially pregnant women who are being ridden to the hospital on wheelcarts and motorcycles.
This is, however, costly to over 5,000 residents of Bambiyo Barebari and Bambiyo Fulani communities in the LGA. According to findings, the situation had claimed many newborns and their mothers.
On August 27, WikkiTimes documented how an abandoned Primary Health Care (PHC) facility in Warji local council denies over 7,000 locals access to healthcare services.
“This is a clinic that’s located in Ingila town in Warji LGA in Bauchi State,” a resident, Tijjani Muhammad Nura, wrote on Facebook. “The clinic serves about an approximation of 7000 people from different settlements and has been in this way for almost three years now. All hospital activities are carried out in here.”
Responding, Musa Azare, the Special Adviser to Governor Bala Mohammed on Projects Monitoring, claimed he had called the attention of the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency to the eyesore, adding that the chairman of the agency “immediately summoned directors” seeking explanations for the deplorable health facility.
Four days later, this paper reported on another abandoned PHC in Misau local council. The facility, built by Senator Isah Hamma Misau, would be left unused five years after it was completed.
However, it began operation in early August, but in shambles as it lacks not only enough staff, but the prerequisite medical equipment. WikkiTimes’ findings showed that the facility, despite serving an estimated population of 7,000 has only four beds in the facility, and they were donated by sister centers.
Yesterday, WikkiTimes also detailed how the government has neglected the rotten PHC in Bangarati, a community in Misau local government. This trend continued unchecked for over 10 years.
In the facility, only three staff attend to over 8,000 people from different communities in the local council, but on three beds.
WikkiTimes gathered there are about 323 PHCs and 26 general hospitals including the newly constructed and renovated ones across the 20 local government areas in the state.