Its November 2018 but some Nigerians still don’t know what a hospital really looks like, for Kaffe patients, the closest they have come to a decent hospital, is sleeping on a mat, which is no comfort at all.
Kaffe, a community in Gada Local Government Area of Sokoto state, an agrarian community with a population of over 4,000 people. To say they are neglected, is the least to describe their condition.
While some government-owned health centres can boast of air conditioners, the residents of Kaffe can boast of a mat, an upgrade from receiving treatment from under a tree.
The Public Health Centre (PHC) that caters to the health needs of the community is in shambles and not beffiting for human beings.
But the people of Kaffe have seen worse times. In 2017, they had a glimmer of hope when the Federal Government budget, made provision for N34 million facility which included upgrading and equipping the PHC at Kaffe Gada LGA.
Its over a year now and whatever is left of their hope seems to have faded really fast until Tracka visited Kaffe.
On 24 April 2018, BudgIT/Tracka tracking officer, Grace Godwin visited Kaffe to raise advocacy awareness on the upgrade and equipping of a PHC nominated by Honourable Musa Sarkin Adar representing Gado/Goronyo Federal Constituency.
She used the opportunity to distribute copies of the 2017 FG budget to residents of the community. They were also encouraged to follow up with project implementation and demand accountability from their representatives. Prior to the visit, Kaffe residents were unaware of the inclusion of the project in the 2017 budget.
During her visit, she found that work was currently ongoing at the PHC, but what stunned her was the fact that patients sat or stood under a tree and in some cases they lay on mattresses or mats under a tree within the unfenced compound of the PHC to receive drips.
For others, the tree branches became drip stands. At night, power usually returns, however, medical care continues under the tree. In the absence of toilet facilities, the patients had to relieve themselves in bushes around the PHC. This has been the situation for about a month since renovation work started.
The situation in Kaffe is pathetic for several reasons. First, the quality of care being received is questionable, as already sick patients may be exposed to other infections.
Second, one would expect that alternative healthcare provisions would have been made for this community while the renovation is ongoing. Third, the PHC is without perimeter fencing, exposing even neighbouring residents of the hospital to diseases, should there be an outbreak of communicable infections.
The situation in Kaffe is pathetic for several reasons. Firstly, the quality of care being received is questionable, as already sick patients may be exposed to other infections.
Secondly, one would expect that alternative healthcare provisions would have been made for this community while the renovation is ongoing.
Thirdly, the PHC is without perimeter fencing, exposing even neighbouring residents of the hospital to diseases, should there be an outbreak of communicable infections.
Abudullahi, a resident revealed to the team that the hospital lacks drugs and patients have to buy drugs from Gada town which is almost 17 kilometres away.
In the eventuality of serious illness, many ailing patients have to travel to Gada town to access good medical attention.
The onsite contractor who spoke to the Tracka team said that equipment will be available by Friday. Based on our observation, the work ongoing at the Kaffe PHC does not reflect the amount allocated to it.
One would expect that a 34 million naira refurbishing project should do more. We wait to see the upgrade of the health equipment at the PHC.
Following our conversations with the residents, it will also be great if the facility is fenced to protect patients and secure the equipment at the hospital.
Honourable Musa Sarkin Adar is also from Kaffe village and has been the representative of the constituency since 2007.
The residents expressed displeasure at what they call “bad treatment” from him. We hope that the situation in Kaffe is rectified soon, and Kaffe residents will not have to share the open air with mosquitoes even while they receive medical care.