By Olalekan Obisesan, ONE Campaigns Intern
Last October, Connected Development (CODE) – a grassroots partner of ONE – took the Make Naija Stronger Campaign to six communities across Nigeria’s geo-political zones. One of these communities was Akama.
During the visit, CODE discovered the health centre to be in an exceptionally poor state and completely devoid of patients. The centre lacked water, electricity, medical equipment, drugs, mattresses and chairs. It was also operating with weak antenatal care infrastructure, no security personnel, and, most surprisingly, no skilled birth attendants or full time doctors on staff. Lacking even the most basic of supplies, it was impossible for medical staff to admit patients and to administer any kind of health care after sunset. Without security and electricity, delivering babies at night becomes a difficult, if not impossible task. Mrs Fransisca Emele, the officer in charge of the health centre told CODE, “we use a lantern to deliver in some critical cases,”.
Without a doctor on call overnight, Igwe Nneka was unable to deliver her baby at the centre. She is now calling on the Nigerian government to urgently provide medical equipment, electricity and accommodation for health workers to Akama.
The Akama incident is not unique to this community alone. There is an urgent need for the government to implement change which will put an end to the deplorable conditions found in health facilities across Nigeria. The 2017 health budget should thus be formulated to ensure funding of the primary health care system that enables Nigeria to move towards universal health coverage. Taking into account the current disease burden should drive investments in the health sector.
Join the Akama, Ngwo-uno people and thousands other Nigerians by calling on the government to revamp the nation’s health sector today!