Adamu Jiya is the only health worker in the only health facility in Emi Umarua rural community in Gbako Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State. But having only one health worker to attend to all their health needs is not the only challenge residents of the community have to contend with when it comes to accessing health care.
According to Jiya who also doubles as the officer in charge of Emi Umaru Clinic, the walls of the facility are cracked, there is no source of water in or around the facility, there are no toilet facilities and the building is not connected to any source of electricity. “Our wards are in a very deplorable condition with no functional beds to use in case of admission. Patients are treated for minor illnesses on the floor. The delivery room is totally broken with no beds, no light, and no single equipment. Rodents have taken over it. We can’t take any delivery in there, we must send the women to Lemu’’, Jiya said.
In addition, the facility cannot provide 24-hour services due to the lack of adequate staff. As a result, any resident who needs healthcare services after 4 pm must travel to Lemu town, the headquarters of Gbako LGA.
Hauwa Bidafun is a resident of Emi Umaru. She is pregnant and visited the health facility to seek medical care for some discomfort. She said most women in the community are reluctant to access antenatal services in the clinic due to its condition. “Even if you come, they don’t have equipment. Even the (antenatal) drugs most time are not available, and you can’t even give birth here”, she added.
Emi Umaru community members deserve to be able to access healthcare from functional, well equipped, and well-resourced health facilities. They are therefore asking Gbako LGA officials and the Niger State government to,
- Completely rehabilitate Emi Umaru Clinic.
- Provide functional equipment to Emi Umaru Clinic.
- Recruit, train and deploy adequate human resource for health to the facility.