Primary health-care centres across the 13 local government areas and 18 development areas in Nasarawa State are in deplorable states despite a donation of $500,000 to boost the centres. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had in September 2017 donated $500,000 to the Nasarawa State Primary Health care Development Agency for the upgrade of primary health-care facilities in the state.
As a result of the poor facilities, it was discovered that most residents at the rural areas had continued to visit the state-owned Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia to access medical attention even for minor illnesses.
The NAN investigation gathered that with the state of affairs of the PHCs in the state, the donation from Bill and Melinda Gate might have been mismanaged. Our correspondent also learnt that about 83 children died of acute malnutrition in Nasarawa State from 2017 to date.
It was gathered that barely two years after the donation was sunk into the PHCs, they are in shambles.
When contacted for explanation on the poor state of the facilities, the Executive Chairman of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Adis Mohammed, refused to disclose to our correspondent how much the state had invested in the primary health-care sector in the last three years.
Our correspondent, who visited most of the PHCs across the state, gathered that apart from the inadequate manpower, most of the centres were in state of disrepair.
A visit to Kayarda and Duduguru PHCs in the Obi Local Government Area of the state revealed that the unkempt centres had been attracting rodents and insects. The situation was worsened by the fact that workers and patients defecated in a nearby bush as there was no functional toilets.
When contacted, the state Executive Chairman of NSPHCDA, Dr Adis Mohammed, declined comment and referred our correspondent to the state Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning. At the ministry, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Maman, said the state government had released substantial funds to the state’s Primary Health Care Development Agency to put the PHCs in good condition.
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