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Bauchi PHCs Grossly Understaffed – Health Commissioner

The Bauchi State Commissioner for Health, Dr Adamu Sambo, said the state primary healthcare facilities suffer inadequate human resources to meet the healthcare needs of the state.

During a ministerial press briefing organized by the Bauchi State Government, Dr Sambo, highlighted the challenges and achievements in the healthcare sector.

He explained that the state Primary Health Care Development Board which oversees over 1,300 primary health centers (PHCs) across the 20 local government areas (LGAs) of the state, has a total workforce of 7,866 staff.

“Of these, only 3,234 are healthcare professionals, and only 80% of them are actively rendering services at health facilities. Additionally, over 1,000 volunteers support the agency which the agency has no control on them,” he added.

Dr. Sambo expressed dismay over the poor siting of healthcare facilities by some politicians, which has led to inadequate distribution of healthcare services.

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He further disclosed that the Bauchi State Specialist Hospital suffers from insufficient human resources, dilapidated equipment and infrastructure, the absence of a House Officers-training program.

According to the commissioner, absence of manual for information management unit, and incomplete perimeter fencing are other challenges which hinder the hospital’s smooth operation.

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Successes

Despite these challenges, however, the Commissioner noted significant achievements in healthcare delivery.

He disclosed the State government has constructed and fully renovated 14 general hospitals and staff quarters, and 28 new primary healthcare centers across the state.

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He said “The ministry has also identified, rehabilitated, and equipped one healthcare center in each of the state’s 323 wards, which will serve as referral centers for other satellite facilities. Under a programme with BHETfund, the government has facilitated the expansion and equipment provision for 20 healthcare clinics. The headquarters of the Ministry of Health in Bauchi has also been upgraded to improve staff welfare”.

He noted that since 2019, the government has lifted the embargo of employment on the ministry, leading to the recruitment of healthcare workers in various fields.

Dr. Sambo highlighted the government’s success through the NSHIP project, improving healthcare services delivery in 192 PHCs and 12 general hospitals, including the Specialist Hospital. “Since 2020, over 2 million children aged 3-59 months have benefited from SMC (seasonal malaria chemoprevention) every month from June to October, making Bauchi State the best-performing state in 2022 with a 92% success rate,” he added.

The Commissioner also reported success in controlling epidemics such as COVID-19, Lassa fever, diphtheria, cholera, measles, yellow fever, and cerebrospinal meningitis across the state’s communities.

Dr Sambo dismissed earlier reports of a cholera outbreak resulting in death, clarifying that Bauchi State has not recorded any deaths from cholera. “The state has intensified surveillance and makes necessary arrangements to prevent any disease outbreaks, not only cholera,” he said.

He commended Governor Muhammad for declaring a state of emergency in the health sector upon assuming office in 2019, which has significantly contributed to the sector’s successes.

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