Warri Central Hospital doctors, nurses, and other medical staff have lamented the dilapidated state of the hospital, accusing Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of gross negligence and allowing the hospital to rot away.
Speaking to SaharaReporters on the condition of anonymity, a medical doctor attached to the hospital lamented that Mr. Okowa has ignored medical workers’ pleas to renovate the run-down hospital.
“Warri Central Hospital is a mess. How can a state governor who claimed to be a medical doctor abandon and neglect everything concerning the hospital?” he said.
“The Okowa government has done nothing in the health sector. Pay a visit here and you will weep for patients for lack of facilities in the hospital. Do you know we have 15 generating plants in this very hospital? Yet we use rechargeable lights in the hospital even to deliver pregnant women in this very hospital. I am sorry to say, the governor has failed woefully," the doctor lamented.
Another hospital worker described the hospital as an "abattoir" where people are killed rather than treated.
"The governor of Delta State, a medical doctor for that matter, should commit himself to providing adequate medical care for the state's citizenry. It’s unfortunate that former Governor Uduaghan, a medical doctor, left a sound hospital for his fellow doctor who has failed to sustain it,” she said.
A nurse who confided in SaharaReporters disclosed that the current mortality rate in the hospital is mind boggling due to the Okowa administration’s abandonment of the past administration’s free prenatal care scheme.
"Former Governor Uduaghan, due to his background as a medical doctor, shortly after his inauguration in 2007, introduced the free maternal healthcare policy to address the high mortality rate in the state,” she explained.
“Under the policy, pregnant women in the state who registered with state hospitals were entitled to free treatment from their prenatal period up to delivery. Many deaths were averted because of the policy.
“But now the mortality rate has gone through the roof. The Uduaghan administration had to subsidize everything in the hospital but the maternal health care policy was totally free. Now the Okowa-led government has reversed everything. Currently, many pregnant women avoid the hospital because of the financial implications. Instead, they patronize traditional birth attendants who charge less, but lack the capacity to respond to emergencies and complications. Warri Central Hospital is a total mess," the visibly angry nurse said.
Narrating her experience at the hospital to SaharaReporters, a mother of one who simply identified herself as Lillian said she lost her pregnancy last year at the Warri Central Hospital due to the bad working environment and lack of encouragement for workers in the hospital.
"About a year and two months ago, I had a challenge with my pregnancy and went to Warri Central Hospital as early as 7:30 a.m. I stayed there till the next morning in pain and darkness without getting the treatment I needed. Eventually, I discharged myself, and by then I had lost my pregnancy,” she lamented.
Also narrating his experience at the Warri Central Hospital, one Samuel Meyiwa Khalil said the Okowa administration has failed the people in the health and education sectors, adding that the situation was above board during the last administration.
“On Wednesday at about 5:30 a.m., I rushed a sick person to the emergency unit of the Warri Central Hospital, and the whole hospital was in total darkness. There was no presence of nurses and doctors at the emergency room. I saw groaning patients, some on the floor. Only one very dim rechargeable light was on a table. The hospital is death. Okowa has completely neglected the health sector,” Mr. Khalil said.
“Governor Okowa should not destroy but rather improve on Emmanuel Uduaghan's legacy at the Warri Central Hospital. The situation is so pathetic. Okowa, this is not the way to go. Ending the free maternal healthcare scheme has caused deaths in hospitals across the state. The avoidable deaths of babies and, sometimes, mothers from such complexities were reduced to the barest minimum then but now the reverse is the case.”
At the time of publishing this report, all efforts to reach Delta State Commissioner for Health Nicholas Azinge were not successful, as his mobile phone was not answered. A director in the ministry, however, confirmed the situation at the Warri Central Hospital, saying that the commissioner on Monday paid a visit to the hospital and will be meeting the governor to address the issue.