The residents of Abejukolo in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State are putting together efforts to ensure that General Hospital that provides healthcare in the area does not collapse and is functional.
This is even as the government does not provide adequate funding for the operation of the hospital which affects it from providing a good healthcare delivery to the inhabitants.
Mr. Yusuf Oyibo, a community resident, speaking to MAWA FOUNDATION said the hospital is meant to serve a huge number of residents, but because of its dilapidated nature, many of them now resort to Ayingba and Lokoja for medical care.
Oyibo, also, narrated how two accident victims died in the hospital last week because there were no drugs and equipment that will help medical personnel to carry out treatment efficiently.
Besides lack of drugs and equipment, the hospital has no electricity, making health personnel carry out operations in the dark at night, Oyibo added.
Worse still, the Kogi state government in her 2021 budget approved N50 million for the Primary Healthcare Development Agency to purchase medical equipment and the sum of N31.5 billion for the office of the governor.
Given accounts of how the community members are working to provide solutions to its healthcare and ensure the hospital functions, a community leader who spoke to MAWA FOUNDATION said they are undertaking community organizing to ensure the hospital functions and provides healthcare for the people.
Narrating how the community efforts are helping to sustain the hospital, the community leader who does not want his name mentioned, said they often appeal to their sons and daughters who contribute monies and support the hospital management in providing drugs.
He added that in many instances, they had come together using manual labour with community youth to clear the hospital environment of grasses to ensure it is kept neat.
“We know that this hospital serves us by providing us healthcare, we cannot wait for the government for it to functions, if it collapses, it is we that will suffer, so we do all we can to ensure it does not collapse,” the community leader told MAWA
A breakdown of the 2021 budget that is published on the state website shows that the Primary Healthcare Development Agency got the approval of N50, 000,000 for the purchase of medical equipment, while the office of the governor got N31, 555,338,375 approvals.
This is even as the Kogi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency’s core mandate is to control preventable diseases, improve access to basic health services, and strengthen Primary Health Care (PHC) across communities in the 21 Local Government Areas.
Visits by MAWA FOUNDATION to some communities in Kogi, particularly in Lokoja-the state capital, Igalamela, Idah, Ofu, Ankpa, Ayingba, Dekina, show residents suffer grave healthcare inadequacy mainly as a result of dilapidated hospitals and lack of healthcare facilities.
However, there are notable community efforts seen by MAWA FOUNDATION that are helping to sustain cottage hospitals. For instance, some communities such as Akpnaya have since built a cottage hospital using community labour and contributions that now serve them and provide minimal healthcare for the residents.
It is our hope that other communities will imitate this approach as that is going a long way in addressing healthcare in many rural communities in Kogi state.
Still, the Kogi state government, rather than investing in healthcare delivery, has put a meager amount of money into healthcare while allocating a huge amount that is almost the entire annual resources of the state to the office of the governor.
MAWA FOUNDATION could not immediately reach out to the Kogi state government for a response.