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Community Health Watch

Nuwonkta PHC: A Shadow of a Health Facility

Nuwonkota is an agrarian community in Gbako Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State. The community has a Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) which provides healthcare services to the people. The PHC has however been in a bad shape for several years.

According to Umar Aliyu, the in-charge of the PHC, the facility lacks essential infrastructure and commodities that will enable it to function optimally. “There are often no drugs, and that makes us purchase locally to administer to patients. Besides drugs, there are no medical equipment at the PHC.   The building is almost collapsing as there are noticeable cracks on the walls.  The ceilings have caved-in, and the backyard has also fallen down already,” Aliyu said, adding that plastic bags are used to cover some parts of the PHC walls that is very damaged. He lamented that patients admitted to the health facility often must lie on mats, because there are only two beds in the health facility.

Zainab Muhammad, a resident of the community, lamented that the health facility has no toilet or source of water and as such, both patients and health workers must go to the nearby bushes to ease themselves.

Health facilities can only function and meet the healthcare needs of the local population if they are stocked with the required World Health Organization (WHO) essential medicines. In addition, water and sanitation facilities are some of the basic requirements any health facility should have, in order to be provide patients with a safe and hygienic environment. It is also important that health facilities are properly staffed, so that patients have access to health workers whenever they visit the health facility. Gbako LGA and the Niger State government should ensure that Nuwonkota PHC and all other health facilities in the state are well equipped with the necessary medication, infrastructure and facilities to provide quality services to the local community.

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