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Fintiri addresses poor Healthcare facilities, as Adamawa Communities seek for Govt Intervention

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Fintiri addresses poor Healthcare facilities, as Adamawa Communities seek for Govt Intervention

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By Felicia Amos Dauda, Yola

Healthcare service that is closer to the people at the grassroots is the primary healthcare; it is the first point-of-call to the rural inhabitants. It is next to impossibility for a community to thrive without the presence of healthcare facilities. In other words, health is the ultimate driver that accelerates development in any community; hence any community that cannot boast of a standard healthcare centre is vulnerable to attacks by various ailments, outbreaks and diseases.

Having known this, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, upon coming on board in his first tenure as Governor of Adamawa State four years ago, he wasted no time in swinging into action by improving and enhancing the Health Sector, especially at the primary healthcare level.

The Fintiri-led Administration is seen embarking on constructions of new cottage hospitals across LG headquarters in the state alongside renovating old cottage hospitals which were crying-for-help for years due to neglect by the previous administrations.

Apart from building and renovating cottage hospitals, the Adamawa State Government under the leadership of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has employed medical staff to man the primary healthcare centres across various LGAs of the state and provided medical equipment worth millions of Naira for effective healthcare service delivery. This laudable development has gone a long way in harnessing and enhancing the wellbeing and livelihoods of people at the grassroots.

However, as Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is inaugurated and sworn-in as Governor of Adamawa State for second term, much is still expected from him to making the primary healthcare more effective and accessible. Like Oliver Twist, the rural residents want more!
While efforts by the Fintiri-led Government are highly appreciated in bringing back the lost glory of primary healthcare service in the state, there are some rural communities across the 21 LGAs of the state that are in need of healthcare facilities; hence the ‘ruralists’ are appealing to government at all levels for prompt intervention.

One of these rural communities is Bantai, a village situation in Mayo-Belwa LGA of about 16 kilometres from the LG headquarters. This community lacks healthcare facilities as its inhabitants face unbearable situations whenever they encounter health challenges.

The Scope Correspondent, who visited the community during the week, found out that there is no single health post in the area and the surrounding villages to cater for the over 350 households; hence the inhabitants are left to their fate.

They expressed optimism that they will receive the necessary attention from the second-term Administration of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri; a Governor who is known far-and-near for having the interest of the masses at heart.

Playing host to this reporter at his residence, the Village Head of Bantai, Mal. Agwindawen Yakubu Bantai, said that the people of Bantai have been decived by politicians over the years with sweet promises including the construction of a befitting healthcare post, but none of such promises see the light of the day.

According to Bantai, Bantai has been neglected by both Government and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) despite its contribution to food security in the state as well as its role in politicking, adding that the village is the most neglected in Mayo-Belwa LGA if the total absence of government presence is anything to go by.

In his words, “Health post is not the only need we need here, but it is the urgent need. We don’t have sources of potable such as bore-holes not to talk of electricity and other social amenities. Our major challenge here is the absence of a health facility.

“We have seen the laudable strides that have been recorded by Governor Fintiri in many sectors, and we have appreciated him for that. We believe that the Governor’s attention will be on us during his second tenure. We really need a health facility here honestly”.

A community leader, who also spoke to Roots News Correspondent, lamented over the absence of healthcare facilities in the area, describing the situation as a threat to their collective existence as a people. Mal. Dauda Isah is unhappy with the ugly situation.

He pointed out, “We lack many social amenities in this community. You have seen things for yourself. We don’t have good primary school and no potable drinking water. But we can manage our sources of water from our river and the deplorable primary school building.

“But we don’t know how to manage the situation where there is no health facility here. Life becomes difficult without a place to run to for medical attention. We call on our local government chairman to do the needful”.

Women Leader in the community, Mrs Rifkatu Ibrahim, recalled the vital role that women and the whole residents of the area played at the recent general elections, but they are the most neglected.

She expressed, “I don’t know whether it is deliberate. Politicians have been coming here with sweet promises that they would provide a healthcare facility here, but we have not seen anything over the years. We appeal to government at all levels to intervene in our situation”.

Another community that The Scope Correspondent visited that also lacks healthcare facilities is Gawi. Gawi is a cosmopolitan community in Fufore LGA, with over 100 households and most of its inhabitants are livestock breeders and peasant farmers.

According to their traditional leaders, the community has been in existence for decades without health facilities.
The community which is about 7 kilometres drive from Fufore town; the administrative area, is faced with quite a number of challenges, especially lack of good healthcare facilities.

The Scope Correspondent findings revealed that the only existing health post in the area is a mud apartment constructed through communal efforts by the community under the Bamako Drug Revolving Fund Programme (BDRFP) about 30 years ago as a step for the community to access first aid. The absence of the facility contributes in no small measures to the mortality rate among pregnant women in the area, particularly during the rainy season.

Narrating her ordeal, Mrs Hajiya Bello, told this reporter, “Two years ago, I was pregnant and when my time was due, I had difficulties. Hence my husband and neighbours had to rush me to the health post here, but the health workers could not do anything because there were no facilities.

“They referred me to the cottage hospital in Fufore town. But unfortunately, I had a miscarriage before we reached the hospital. Had it been there were medical facilities here, the health staff would have handled my pregnancy. We appeal to government for intervention. The only time we benefited from a health facility was during the Bamako Initiative”.
Investigation carried out by The Scope Correspondent revealed that Bamako Initiative was launched in the year 1987 in the capital of Mali by the Health Ministries of African Countries (HMAC) at a conference sponsored by WHO and UNICEF to ensure that the entire population has access to primary healthcare of good quality at an affordable price.

The Bamako Initiative was spread across African countries where rural communities benefitted. It was during the era of this initiative that Gawi Community of Fufore LGA of Adamawa State benefitted which gave birth to the present health post in the area.

A cross section of Gawi residents who spoke to this reporter when he visited the community during the week, lamented over the unfortunate situation, saying that the community which has seven (7) traditional wards; each headed by a traditional ward leader, lacks the presence of Government and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), especially in the provision of health facilities.

They called on the authorities concerned to build to build a standard health facility that will cater for the health needs of the people, adding that they have been facing many health challenges over the years due to lack of health facilities in the area.

Playing host to The Scope Correspondent, Wakilin Mai Jimilan Gawi, Alh. Abubakar Aliyu, said that the complete absence of healthcare facilities has subjected the residents of the area to difficult livelihoods, calling on the relevant authorities to do the needful.

In his words, “Due to the absence of a health facility, the community decided to come together and requested for approval to build the community health post, and when the approval was granted by the former Chairman of Fufore Local Government Council, the late Suleiman Dasin, the health post commenced operation in a single apartment donated by someone in the community before the present health post was built during the Bamako Initiative.

“We cannot call on Governor Fintiri to come to our aid directly because we know that he has many projects to accomplish in his second tenure, but I don’t think building of a good health post is beyond the capacity of our local government chairman”.

He said that the pathetic situation is when transporting patients from the community to Fufore Cottage Hospital, particularly during the rainy season because the road leading to the community from the main road is not accessible.

He stated, “I appeal to the relevant authorities, especially the Primary Healthcare Development Agency to do something about our situation here. Our population has out-grown the small health post here”.

Aliyu noted that the community has presented their plight to the agency, stressing that even politicians have been capitalising on the ugly-nature to canvas for votes during political campaigns with a promise to address the situation on the assumption of office, but to no avail.

He expressed, “We have presented our plight to various concerned authorities, especially the Ministry of Health and the Primary Healthcare Development Agency, to construct a standard healthcare centre that can cater for the health needs of the residents. We lack access road network and there is no electricity.

“We believe that the attention of Governor Fintiri will turn to us in his second tenure. He has provided a lot of infrastructural development across the state in his first tenure, and now that he has been inaugurated for govern the state for another four years, we will smile at the end of the day”.

Also speaking to The Scope Correspondent, Health Attendants in the health post, Mal. Mohammed Tukur and Mrs Amina Umar, said that patients with serious ailments are referred to Fufore Cottage Hospital.

They explained that most of the drugs available in the health post are ACT, Panadol, Paracetamol and other drugs for the treatment of minor ailments and diseases.They disclosed that the commonest disease in the community is malaria.

Mal. Tukur pointed out, “We don’t attend to pregnant women; we refer them to Fufore Cottage Hospital. It has not been easy with us and the patients here honestly. We appeal to government to build a standard health facility in this area and employ additional workers. Sometime, casualties of pregnant women are recorded while referring patients to Fufore, especially during rainy season like this”.

Mrs Umar added, “Yes, it has been the situation here for years. But we keep our hope alive having in mind that Governor Fintiri is given another four years to pilot the affairs of the state. We are witnesses of the improvement of Health Sector under his leadership, and we believe we will also benefit from his health enhancement programmes in no distant time”.