Kaffe, a village in Gada Local Government Area of Sokoto state, is an agrarian community with a population of about 4,000 people. The only Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) that serves the community has been in need of urgent rehabilitation for some years. However, the prayers of the community were answered in 2017 with the inclusion of N34 million for the upgrade and equipping of the health care center in the national budget.
But members of the community were not even aware of this fact until a Budgit tracking officer, Grace Godwin, visited Kaffe to inform them that the lawmaker representing them at House of Representatives, Honorable Musa Sarkin Adar, nominated the rehabilitation of the health centre as his constituency project in the 2017 federal government’s budget.
Copies of the 2017 national budget were distributed to residents of the community, who were also encouraged to keep track of the rehabilitation of the health center and demand accountability from their representatives by the Budgit team.
The rehabilitation of the health center is underway, but at huge cost to the community because of absence of an alternative for residents in need of healthcare. Thus, members of the community are condemned to continue to use the health care center even as it is under rehabilitation. But now, they are receiving treatments for their various ailments not inside the wards, but in the open compound of the facility. Patients lay on mattresses or mats under a tree within the unfenced compound of the health centre to receive treatments.
Some of the patients have their drips hanging on tree branches. The patients continue with their treatment under the tree even in the evenings, with their only consolation being the fact that there is supply of electricity.
In the absence of toilet facilities, the patients relieve themselves in the bush around the facility.
This has been the situation for about a month since renovation work started.
The situation in Kaffe is pathetic for several reasons. First, the quality of care being received is questionable, as the already sick patients are exposed to other infections.
Second, one would expect that an alternative healthcare facility would have been made for the community, while the renovation of the only existing one is ongoing.
Also, the fact that the PHC is without perimeter fencing also put other members of the community in danger of contracting diseases, especially in case of outbreak of communicable infections.
Some residents of the community, on condition of anonymity, revealed that hoodlums come to the health center from time to time to steal mattresses meant for patients due to the absence of perimeter fencing in the facility.
Abudullahi, a resident of the community revealed that the hospital lacks drugs and patients have to buy drugs from Gada town which is almost 17 kilometers away.
Sick members of the community are also taken to Gada town to access good medical attention in case of serious illnesses.
The onsite contractor who spoke to the Tracka team said new equipment for the facility will be available by Friday.
But based on our observation, the work ongoing at the Kaffe PHC does not reflect the amount allocated to it. One would expect that a N34 million refurbishing project should do more.
We wait to see the upgrade of the health equipment at the PHC.
Following our conversations with the residents, it will also be great if the facility is fenced to protect patients and secure the equipment at the hospital.
Honourable Musa Sarkin Adar is also from Kaffe village, and has been the representative of the constituency since 2007.
The residents expressed displeasure at what they call “bad treatment” from him. We hope that the situation in Kaffe is rectified soon, and Kaffe residents will not have to share the open air with mosquitoes, even while they receive medical care.