Nigeria: Governor Suspends Hospital Staff for Abandoning Patients to NGO

The Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, has suspended the entire staff of the General Hospital in Ngala town for abandoning the facility to an international non-governmental organisation.

The governor made this known via his verified Twitter handle @GovBorno on Wednesday.

Mr Zulum said those affected include resident doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians.

In July last year, Mr Zulum suspended a medical director and four resident doctors, who were not at their duty posts on the night he paid surprise visits to some public hospitals in Maiduguri.

Same year, he ordered the suspension of 200 primary school teachers for not showing up in classes in Bama town.

YET ANOTHER SUSPENSION

Mr Zulum had on Monday paid an unscheduled visit to the hospital and discovered that the workers had, despite receiving government salaries, abandoned the hospital to an international non-governmental organisation, fhi360, which was managing hundreds of patients, majority of whom are IDPs and residents.

According to the government handle, Ngala town is the headquarters of Ngala local government area in the central part of Borno. The border town is along an international land route to Cameroon, Chad, Sudan and Central Africa.

Liberated from Boko Haram's control in 2015, Ngala currently has thousands of returnees, many of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs), forced to flee their villages and farmlands in the wake of attacks by Boko Haram.

The governor, who is known to pay surprise visits to schools and hospitals, showed up at the General Hospital in Ngala to find out the condition of healthcare delivery to citizens.

He was received by a field coordinator of fhi360, the iNGO left in control of the hospital.

"This is a General Hospital belonging to Borno State Government, unfortunately there is no single state Government staff here to attend to all these patients, and we promptly pay all of them salaries.

"These humanitarian workers from the iNGO (fhi360) are supposed to complement the state government staff but not to completely take over the hospital.

"I am directing the Borno State Hospitals Management Board, if there is any staff on the payroll of this Hospital, to immediately suspend all the workers on government payroll. I will be back to this hospital, hoping to see the opposite of what I saw today," Mr Zulum said.

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