Democracy Day: Coalition wants Ugwuanyi to declare emergency on PHC sector

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Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Enugu known as Claim Your Water Rights Campaign, wants the government to declare a state of emergency in Primary Health Care (PHC) sector in the state.

The Convener, Mr Temple Oraeki said this on Friday in his Democracy Day message to the government and residents of the state.

Oraeki said the deplorable state of the PHC centres had become a source of worry not only to the users of the facilities but also to members of the public.

The convener, also the Country Director of Hope Spring Water, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), said that over 75 per cent of PHC facilities in the state were in deplorable state.

He said that the coalition while implementing its project in the state, recently went round to ascertain the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) status of the health centers in the state.

The country director said that they were confounded by the state of the health centres as most of them have no toilets for staff and patients.

“We visited at least two health centres in each of the 17 local government areas of the state to find out the status of their WASH facilities.

“We discovered that most of them depend on rain water in the rainy season and patronise water hawkers during the dry season.

“Some of them do not have toilet facilities while where such facilities exist, they are locked because of lack of water to flush the toilet after usage. The patients told us that they defecate in nearby bushes,” Oraeki said.

Also, Mrs Amaka Nweke, a member of the coalition, said that it was the duty of government to provide, maintain and equip healthcare facilities.

Nweke, also the Country Programme Director, Global Society for Anticorruption (GSAC), an NGO, said that most of the facilities visited had no source of light.

“I mean you could imagine a child being delivered with kerosene lamp and candle under a falling ceiling sheets filled with cobwebs and dusts.

“Water is now as rare as gold in most of the health centers. It is surprising to see healthcare facilities depend on rain water from dirty roofing sheets to attend to clients with health related challenges.

“I begin to wonder if there are elected government officials representing these rural communities,” she said.

Nweke called on both the state and local governments to provide the necessary resources for the health facilities as well as investigate how funds disbursed to the health centres were used.

“The state government should declare a state of emergency in our PHC facilities,” Nweke said.

Meanwhile, the state government said it awarded contracts for the construction and equipment of PHC facilities in seven local government areas of the state.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh while briefing newsmen at the end of a meeting of the State Executive Council on June 10 made the disclosure.

Aroh said that the contracts involved the construction of seven units of Type Three PHC centres in Ezeagu, Nkanu East, Igbo-Etiti, Igbo-Eze South, Isi-Uzo, Udenu and Uzo-Uwani Local Governments.

The commissioner said the health centres would be equipped with water boreholes and power generating sets provided in each of the facilities.

He said that the council also approved renovation works, improvement of facilities and provision of essential supplies in 34 health facilities across the 17 local government areas of the state. (NAN)

– Jun. 12, 2020 @ 15:05 GMT |

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