Landlords and residents of Ibatefin, in the Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State, have lamented the non-availability of a good primary health care centre in the community.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the only health centre in the community was dilapidated and lacked medical equipment and workers, a situation that made access to health care difficult.
Residents, while demanding government intervention, said the health centre, which was constructed during the administration of a former Governor, Gbenga Daniel, had become a shadow of itself.
During a visit to the medical facility, our correspondent observed that the building was overgrown with bushes.
A total of three beds were seen in the wards; the toilets were no longer in use.
A nurse, who simply identified herself as Mrs Ogungbe, said the health centre had two nurses and two health attendants.
According to her, patients are usually referred to a general hospital which is about 15 kilometres away from the centre.
She said, “We used to have different patients here despite the condition of this health centre. The truth is that we lack good facilities here; our beds are bad and the rooms are not in good shape.
“The bushes that surround us are a big challenge but there is nothing we can do. The local government is supposed to get it cleared. You can see we cannot use our toilets; some of the patients engage in open defecation.”
A community leader, Abiodun Ojo, said the facility served more than five villages in the council.
He said, “We have to look for alternatives; you can see how the place is and the condition of the hospital. We have tried to reach out to the state government through the local government, but they keep promising and we have not seen anything.”
Another resident, Lekan Babalola, said he had to register his pregnant wife at the Ipokia General Hospital, which was about an hour’s journey from the community.
“The Ibatefin health centre is now a nightmare to us; it is only people without choice that still go there. The place needs serious rehabilitation. We want the government to come to our aid because this is the only health facility in our community,” Babalola added.
A health expert, Dr Wale Ogunsanya, said there was the need for the government to rehabilitate the centre to enable residents to get access to quality health care.
He said, “It is important for a hospital environment to be clean and conducive. But from the pictures you sent to me, the condition of the health centre is worrisome and it is important for the government to do something about it soon before it is too late.”
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, said the government was committed to rehabilitating 236 primary health care centres across the state.
She said, “The government is committed to renovating and equipping 236 primary health care centres, one per ward in the 20 LGAs. We are doing them in phases, hence, some have yet to be done. We have recruited over 50 midwives and 40 doctors in the last six months.”