12 July 2017

Nigeria: How Lagos Health Centre Operates Without Permanent Doctors, 12 Years After

Lagos — Twelve years after its establishment in 2008 through the conditional grant scheme of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the only health centre in Takwa Bay Community in Lagos is still underutilized, operating without a permanent doctor, with barely three nurses and without consumables.

This is the state of Takwa Bay Health Centre, a magnificent (in its own right) structure but with virtually no manpower and equipment to work.

This is the health centre catering for seven other communique under Onisiwo Island of Iru-Victoria Island Local Government.

Six months ago, our correspondent made a visit to the community to assess the state of the clinic but since then the situation remains the same with little or no improvement. About seven empty bed spaces were counted with no patience to occupy them simply because patronage is abysmally low.

In addition, the hospital has no any source of generating power to aid its operations.

"There are three nurses posted here but when you come only one nurse is always on ground because the three nurses work on rotation. The doctor is not permanent here. He only come once in a while. Apart from the three nurses, there is the community health officer who manages the health centre. In fact many people call him doctor whereas he doesn't have the qualification," a source told Eko Trust.

As part of measures to boost the manpower needs of the health centre to enable it to cater for the medical needs of the people, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), Community Tour and Sensitization (CTS) is organizing a three - day workshop on soft skill set aspect of FirstAid Training to train first aiders.

Mr. Olufemi Adabale who is the chairman of the NGO said the situation at the health centre is very pathetic and demands urgent action by the state government to prevent the death of members of the community during emergency. He said at the end of the workshop, a community emergency response team would be formed comprising of the nurses, the community health officers and the 16 first aiders being trained. The 16 participants were selected from the communities around Takwa Bay which make use of the hospital.

He said, "Lagos State claims that it runs 24 hours health services but the situation in Takwa Bay health centre belies this claim. Here, they close at 6:00p.m. and they don't work on Saturdays. What happens to people who fall sick or have any emergency after 6:00p.m. and during weekends?"

He proposed the establishment of Marine Ambulance in the community since Takwa Bay can only be accessed by boat.

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