The deplorable condition of healthcare in Ebonyi state has gone out of hand forcing Ntezi-Aba community in Ebonyi North Local Government Area to convert a Goat Pen meant for rearing goats into a Primary Health Centre.
On a visit to Ntezi-Aba community hospital, one sees a mud house with tattered leaking roofs and fallen windows meant for the rearing of goats converted into a Primary Healthcare centre.
In spite of the deplorable nature of the hospital, an estimated 8,000 population in Ntezi-Aba community of Eboyi state rely on it for their healthcare delivery.
Pregnant women rely on the deplorable community hospital for childbirth while others rely on it for the immunization of their children.
Tracka, a public accountability organization that first exposed the deplorable condition of the community hospital, says it has no beds, medical equipment, and health workers. This situation confirms how deplorable the Health Centre has becomes which makes it difficult for it to provide effective healthcare delivery for the people.
A senior official from Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, who spoke to MAWA-Foundation and wants his identity concealed, described health conditions in the state as poor while accusing the state government of not doing enough to provide healthcare for rural residents.
Lamenting the poor healthcare in the state, the official narrated how many rural residents travel far distances to the state capital and some urban centres in search of healthcare delivery.
A situation he blamed on the collapsed healthcare system in Ebonyi State rural communities.
“Every day, we receive many cases that ordinarily be handled at the community health crentres, but because they cannot provide services, the people are forced to come to the teaching hospital over simple cases like malaria and stomach upset”, the official told MAWA.
Mr. Festus Ezea, who claims to have a good knowledge of what goes in regarding healthcare delivery in Ebonyi state, who spoke to MAWA, accused the state government of not taking issues that affect the citizens seriously.
He pointed out that the case of Ntezi-Aba community hospital is a better situation compared to what is obtainable in some rural areas of Ebonyi State.
“You are worried because of the Ntezi-Aba community healthcare centre situation that is a good case compared to what is obtainable in other rural communities in Ebonyi. There are many rural communities that are suffering from lack of healthcare, the government does not care about the people”, Ezea said.
Ntezi-Aba community hospital has continued to be this deplorable even as the state government in the last 10 years had claimed to have expended huge amounts of money in providing healthcare for the citizens.
The Ntezi-Aba community hospital situation is a common experience in Nigeria. In many of the local communities, Primary Healthcare Centres are often left in deplorable conditions leaving the inhabitants to suffer huge inadequate healthcare delivery.
Government officials and the few individuals who can afford better healthcare, go to private hospitals while those of them with economic war chests travel abroad for healthcare.
A situation that is making the Nigerian state lose a huge amount of resources to health tourism.
Nigerian state must begin to invest a huge amount of resources in healthcare if she must address her apparent rot in the health sector.
The investments must be monitored by the state and non-state actors to ensure monies committed to healthcare intervention are accounted for and properly utilized.
MAWA-Foundation could not immediately reach out to the Ebonyi State Government for an official response.