HomeCover StoriesRusty Roof, Refuse: Residents lament harsh realities of decaying health facility in...

Rusty Roof, Refuse: Residents lament harsh realities of decaying health facility in Wudil, Kano

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“The facility is as good as non-existent, I for instance, have kids with sickle cell, anytime there is an emergency, I have to take them to the town for treatment, not here.” Fatima Adamu, a mother of four, of whom three are sickle cell carriers, laments the state of Tsibiri Health Post in Wudil Local Government Area of Kano State.

The Health Post (HP) was established in 2001, and residents of the community confirmed it has always been their go-to for basic health needs.

However, findings by Daily News 24 reveal that in recent times, The health post has fallen into a state of disrepair.

The four-room structure typical of many HPs in Nigeria now suffers from a rusty roof that only covers parts of the facility.

Refuse has taken over some of the designated office spaces. The facility is far from an ideal community health centre.

The World Health Organization (WHO), describes health posts as either community centres or health environments with a very limited number of beds and limited curative and preventive care resources, normally assisted by health workers or nurses.

In Nigeria, they are under the jurisdiction of Local Government Authorities in their respective states and are regarded as a type of primary health care centre. HPs are established to serve communities with an estimated population of 500 people.

Being the closest Health Center to the people, they are the first level at which short-term, uncomplicated health issues are resolved, while patients in need of more specialized care are referred to secondary or tertiary health facilities, as the case may be.

Residents Lament the Poor State of The Facility

For residents of Tsibiri, a community about 50 kilometres from the state capital Kano, the facility is as good as nonexistent.

They decry its terrible state, a situation that has exposed them to hardship in seeking medical care elsewhere.

Fatima Adamu painfully described her ordeal: “I would have loved to use this hospital, but it is not possible due to its current condition.”

Zaliha Mukhtar, a mother, states that “When our children are ill, we take them to Wudil for treatment, because the hospital here lacks working equipment.”

She rhetorically asks, “Who would bring his child here to be exposed to infection?” “That’s not possible.” she added.

While healthcare facility visits might be infrequent for some, pregnant women face a different reality. To ensure the well-being of both mother and child, women are advised to begin AnteNatal Care (ANC) six to eight weeks into pregnancy. Postpartum Care follows immediately after delivery, involving regular hospital visits for essential services like micronutrient supplementation, hypertension treatment to prevent eclampsia, and tetanus immunisation, among other measures.

Zaliha, who already has two kids, describes the challenge women face during pregnancy: “Whenever we go for antenatal care, we go through lots of stress. If only the hospital close to us was in good shape, we would have benefited from it without going very far for ANC.”

She said “also during labor we undergo so much stress while going to a distant health facilities to put to bed.”

In contrast to its dilapidated condition, the Federal Ministry of Health lists on its Health facility registry, an online repository housing information on all health facilities in Nigeria, designates Tsibiri Health Post as operational, registered, and licensed.

A source speaking on condition of anonymity revealed to Daily News 24 that several efforts have been made to get the health post renovated; letters have been written to health authorities in Kano state, to which numerous visits were made to assess the needs of the facility; pictures were even taken as though any action would be taken, but nothing came out of such efforts.

Ubale Abdulhameed, an elderly man and community leader in the community, confirmed the claim, saying, “Many times people have come to see the situation of the facility, raising our hopes that it will be repaired soon, yet nothing has been done.”

As the community leader, he called on the government to intervene. “Our demand is for the facility to be renovated, when patients are brought in, they should get the required treatment and be given medication without difficulty,” he said.

The Officer in Charge (OIC) of the HP, Maikudi Garba, noted that the facility only appears operational because he and his colleagues are always available to attend to patients.

“People don’t come to this facility. Looking at the condition of the building. Those who manage to come usually ask in surprise if this is really a hospital, only the medical posters on the wall here indicate to them that this is a hospital.” he added.

The state of Tsibiri Health Post exemplifies the state of many health facilities in Nigeria. This calls for the urgent intervention of stakeholders to step in and provide accessible, quality healthcare for marginalised communities like Tsibiri.

This is an independent investigation carried out by the Daily News 24 team. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means without proper attribution to Daily News 24, generally including the author’s name, a link to the publication, and a line of acknowledgement.

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