By Yana Paul
Photo: Yana Paul
Some staff of Yola Specialist Hospital and residents of the ancient city have called on Adamawa State Government to urgently check the rot at the premier tertiary health institution in the North-east state.
The staff and residents bared their minds during an interview with a student reporter from the American University of Nigeria (AUN), in Yola on Friday.
Among those who decried the pitiable state of the hospital was a senior staff who gave his name simply as Mohammed.
Asked to give his full name and designation, Mr. Mohammed declined, saying he is not authorised to speak on the matter.
However, he begged the government to urgently rehabilitate the health facility.
While admitting the facility is one of the oldest in the North-east zone of the country, Mr. Mohammed lamented the deplorable state of its environment.
“The environment of the hospital is so bad and needs beautification. A good environment is another kind of medicine,” Mr. Mohammed said.
“If you are in a nice and enticing environment, no matter how sick you are, the things around the environment aids in quick recovery. The drainage system has been blocked and needs to be reconstructed to allow free flow of water.”
While he insisted all the wards in the hospital needed renovation, Mr. Mohammed expressed serious concern about the state of the children’s ward.
“We need pictures and toys. Irrespective of the child’s sickness, if you give him a toy, he will play with it. As a matter of fact, the toys would help in the recovery process.”
He pleaded with the government to rehabilitate and provide the necessary equipment to enable the hospital offer quality healthcare services to the people of the state.
Mr. Mohammed also pleaded with well-meaning Nigerians and donor agencies to support the hospital through direct funding and or adoption of projects.
“The hospital is very insecure. Occasionally, people come in through the broken windows and steal things including phones and other belongings of patients,” he said.
A senior nursing and midwifery staff who also pleaded not to be named because she is not authorized to speak on the matter complained that the hospital lacked functional beds, bedsheets, suction and oxygen machines for emergency services.
“The government needs to understand that the lives of the patients matter by providing an enabling environment for them to be treated and to recover,” she said.
A former staff of the hospital, Dogara Paul, validated the complaints of the two staff.
“I once lost a patient who was emitting fluids through his mouth and nose. He needed oxygen as quick as possible but because it wasn’t available, the patient died,” Mr. Paul said.
A third-year student of the College of Nursing, Yola, Amin Salihu, said the state tertiary hospital has been in a dilapidated state during the past 15 years.
Mr. Salihu said while the state government was fixing roads in Yola town, it was wrong for it to abandon the healthcare facility.
“Patients are left at the mercy of mosquitoes due to the broken windows in the wards. There are no nets to stop mosquitoes from getting into the wards.,” he said.
When contacted on the telephone, the Public Relations Officer in the state Ministry of Health, Abubakar Mohammed, said the government was aware of the problems in the hospital.
He said the government was making effort to fix healthcare facilities in the state and pleaded for understanding by the people.
“You know government prioritises certain sectors of the state economy and that is why it is concentrating on roads but arrangements are being made to switch to the health sector soon,” Mr. Mohammed said.
“Already, steps are being taken to rehabilitate the specialist hospital. If you go there now, the theater, the mortuary and the OPD areas have been rehabilitated by the government.
“A lot of consultants have been brought to the hospital and a feasibility study has been carried out and report presented to the government. Very soon, contract for the total rehabilitation of the hospital will be awarded.”