Group raises alarm over state of primary health infrastructure in Osun

The Connected Development, CODE), a non-profit organisation has disclosed that Osun State Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) are short-staffed and lack some facilities.

Through its COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) which is devoted to ensuring transparency and accountability in government spending in Africa, CODE revealed that this is happening despite the $20.5 million grant which the state obtained at the inception of the Adegboyega Oyetola administration.

In an information made available to BBNAIJA ONLINE”, CODE revealed that despite the rehabilitation of 332 PHCs in the state which was a counterpart project of Osun State and some foreign donors, it has with the aid of Budgit discovered that the PHCs were not operating up to standard.

It added that the challenges confronting most of the PHCs were daunting.

Problems listed include all the PHCs being short-staffed, some of them having to resort using light from torches to take delivery due to disconnections from the national grid by Ibadan Electricity Development Company (IBEDC) over unpaid bills and many not having proper and functional waste disposal system.

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According to CODE, “Even though many of the Primary Health Centres are well rehabilitated, they are still faced with varying degrees of problems.

“The PHCs at Imadin Community, Ilesa and Odo-Ijesa, Atakumosa East local government area have no access to clean water. Patients and staff of these PHCs have no other choice than to go search for water from a distance.

“Medical wastes are disposed inappropriately at the PHCs in Odo-Ijesa, Atakumosa East local government area, Atiba in Olorunda local government area and other PHCs visited by the Connected Development team.

“Due to lack of proper waste disposal system, health officials do not have any other choice than to burn the medical waste thereby polluting the environment.

“At Atiba and Odo-Ijesa PHCs, health workers take delivery with light from torches because the health facilities have been disconnected from the national grid due to unpaid electricity bills and lack of alternative power source.

“Community residents have many times cried out that lack of electricity is putting the lives of mothers and their children at risk.”

In a separate chat with the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, he confirmed that the $20 million grant was won in 2018 after Osun came second after Yobe State in a smart survey that was carried out.

Isamotu revealed that the fund was domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria which amounted to N6 billion.

According to him, it was the money that the state government expended in revitalising the focal PHCs which amounted to 332 out of a total of 864.

“They came from Abuja and they identified the focal centres. A lot of criteria were used in identifying the focal centres which corresponded to one focal centre per ward and since Osun had 332 wards, it amounted to 332 focal PHCs.

“Having done that, if people now complain that some PHCs fall below what is expected after the rehabilitation, I am very sure that it is not part of the focal PHC.

“However, the state governor is looking beyond the focal health centres as he is hoping to rehabilitate and revitalise more PHCs and secondary health facilities.

“The government has renovated General Hospital Ejigbo and Ifetedo and currently involved in massive work at State Hospital, Asubiaro,” he said.

He had earlier stated that the issue of staff shortage was not peculiar to the state alone as many states and federal and private health facilities were contributing the same challenges.

He disclosed that the state government was not folding its arms over the issue but was doing everything possible to bridge the deficit gap in terms of staffing and man power development.