Gombe — A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) in Gombe State, has decried the poor condition of healthcare facilities in the state.
The Chairman of the coalition, Alhassan Yahaya, in an exclusive interview with North East Trust, said all the general and cottage hospitals as well as the primary healthcare centres in the state were in bad shape, lacking most of the basic equipment to offer good and qualitative healthcare services to the populace.
He said it was regrettable that the general hospitals, which are situated mostly in LGA headquarters, and serve as referral centres for the cottage hospitals and primary healthcare centres, lacked basic items like beddings, essential drugs and other laboratory equipment to make diagnoses.
Yahaya revealed that apart from poor working tools, the healthcare centres lack adequate and skilled manpower to handle thousands of patients trooping for treatment.
"During the last administration some retiring nurses have to be granted waiver to fill the gaps due to shortage of nurses to take over from them. But the waiver will expire soon and there is neither qualified personnel nor arrangement to replace them," he said.
The chairman also expressed concern that most people lack access to basic healthcare services, good education and employment opportunities.
"This has led to acute malnutrition in newborn children, high maternal mortality rate during childbirth and rising cases of insecurity brought by youth unemployment."
He, therefore, called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, restructure the entire state healthcare system to salvage it from total collapse.
However, spokesperson for the governor, Ismaila Uba Misilli, said the administration has, within its first year in office, recorded tremendous achievements in the health sector.
He said the governor has totally revamped the state Specialists Hospital, Gombe, which is the referral centre for all state-owned healthcare facilities.
Misilli added that the state government also released N605 million to the Nigeria State Health Investment Project (NSHIP) for the scaling up of intervention for the state primary healthcare centres.
According to him, the fund will ensure at least a fully functional primary healthcare facility in Funakaye, Kaltungo, Kwami, Nafada and Shongom LGAs.
The spokesperson further said the government in collaboration with NSHIP have successfully revitalised 85 PHCs in the six LGAs of Akko, Balanga, Billiri, Dukku, Gombe and Yamaltu-Deba through the Performance Based Financing (PBF) approach.
"The focus of the intervention includes; renovation of the infrastructure, provision of basic equipment and drugs, enhanced health workers motivation through the payment of performance bonuses to the staff and strengthening institutional management at both health facilities and the local government health authorities.