Adekunle Oba, Osogbo
It is around 9:16 am, the sky is cloudy. “I think the rain will start soon,” a Nurse asked a colleague that seats opposite and immediately started packing the medical records filling for patients.
At Fadilullah community in Oke-Ayepe, Osogbo local government area of Osogbo, the state capital of Osun, and a signpost reading: Hospitals’ Management Board, State of Osun, Comprehensive Health Centre – no sign of any activities or indication of service in the ruin buildings.
“Here is the hospital you are going, but I don’t think its functioning again because it has been like this for about three years,” the commercial motorcyclist says in Yoruba language before he zooms off.
After about two attempts to open the gate; roamed for about 5 minutes around the building if there is another entrance – asking the third person that confirms that the hospital is indeed functioning – this reporter finally entered the facility with the help of a young woman whose shop is beside the hospital.
The terrible state of Osun’s Comprehensive Health Centre
A poster on the wall read: “Taking of pictures and shooting of films is forbidden within the hospital premises” placed at the wall of the building. According to Newsclickng.com findings, the hospital has been in the current parlous state for three years ago though it was completed and opened for healthcare services about seven years ago under the previous Rauf Aregbesola administration.
Ante-natal, Infant Welfare Clinic, Male Ward and other larger percentage of the hospital have been damaged and abandoned due to the dilapidated state of the buildings. Several checks by this newspaper indicate that though workers are operating but the quality of medicare to the residents of this sprawling community, could not be ascertained
Newsclickng.com investigation revealed that new staff members who have been posted to the Comprehensive health centre since the damage the facility occurred following rainstorm, would first refuse to report at the centre. One of the workers at the healthcare centre who spoke with this reporter and craved anonymity, said it has not been easy working in a building under the current state of the hospital.
“When I received a transfer letter to this place, I complained and fought for relocation because getting to this hospital will first make you think twice. Although, we are working, Doctor and Nurses are always available; but it is not always easy for us, especially during the rainy season.
“The government has been promising to renovate this building for long but nothing has been done despite several visits by relevant health and works Ministry officials”.
Osun renovates 175 PHCs
One of the achievement being touted of Governor Gboyega Oyetola administration, is in the health sector. The state has declared to have revitalised, renovated, rehabilitation and upgrading 175 primary health care centres across the state. Osun government also said, in 2020 that it had awarded contracts for the renovation of 100 health facilities.
The Oyetola administration had on assumption of office commenced work on the revitalisation of nine general hospitals and 332 Primary Health Centres – one per ward – across the state.
However, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu, had in February while commenting on the $20m grant the state got through the ‘Save One Million Lives’ Programmes said, “Upon assumption of office of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, he immediately constituted a committee to revamp the health sector in the state.
Community asks government to renovate Centre years ago
The Fadilullah community and Olutimehin Estate, Newsclickng.com reliably gathered, have written letters to the government over the state of the Comprehensive health centre located within the communities in Osogbo.
However, a community leader in Olutimehin Estate, Pastor Amos Adebayo who is the Vice-Chairman of the Community disclosed that the Special Adviser to Governor Gboyega Oyetola on public health, Olasiji Olamiju, is said to have according to the community leaders, visited the hospital and assured the residents that the state government will renovate the health centre.
“The first day I entered the hospital, I was shocked and wondered how those people were managing the place because the labour room is not functioning, same as the attendant room though there is a Doctor and Senior Nurses at the hospital.
“We have tried our best by sending two letters to the government about the bad state of the hospital. The first letter was written to the government two years ago while we wrote the second one six months ago. They always come to check the place whenever the letter was written to them and promise to fix it but they have yet to fulfill their promise. The Ministry also came to check on the building and they left.
“The Special Adviser to Governor Gboyega Oyetola on public health, Olamiju came to visit the hospital and he told us that the government was not aware of the hospital’s condition before. He came to the hospital about 6 months ago and promised us that they are going to renovate it.
“Even, the community has contributed to make some repairs on the building and expecially to clear the bush around the hospital and the staffs are still working at the place. We don’t know where to go and file the complain about this hospital again. Even some residents use to call on a Radio Programme every time to tell those in government about the happenings at this health facility
“We also told the Senator Representing Osun Central, Surajudeen Ajibola Bashiru during his campaign right in front of the health centre in 2018, he saw it too,” he said.
Government assures revitalisation, renovation, rehabilitation of the facility
When contacted, Mr Olamiju, the SA confirmed that the government is aware of the situation of the hospital. He assured that efforts is ongoing to renovate the facility. He affirmed that the building was completed about seven years ago but sad that the building could have dilapidated so rapidly.
“We are dismayed that the structure could dilapidate so rapidly, but be that as it may, I have visited the place, my colleague at Works Ministry, the Honorable Commissioner for Works has visited the place on the directive of Governor Oyetola.
“I must tell you, few days ago, less than 72hours ago, we discussed it and the Governor called for action on the renovation of that place through the Ministry of works. People should relax, within few weeks, work will commence there and it will be completed within a short period of time.
“ Health is a flagship of this administration, considering the enormous achievement the state government under the leadership of Oyetola has recorded in the Areas of health, It is still part of our activities, so it is our duty as the government, to make the place available for our people to access quality health care.
“When last I visited the place it was 50 percent dilapidated, that was about four to six months ago and because the rain has come again, you see the kind of wind we are battling with now, it is possible it is deteriorating faster than expected, but what I can assure you is the qualitative reconstruction, renovation and rehabilitation of that health facility for the use of our people.
“I think the contractor did shoddy work, I think. Oyetola is running government of continuity, so we are not dissociating ourselves from it.
In the same vein, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Rafiu Isamotu when contacted by this reporter also assured that the government will renovate the hospital, saying he has discussed it with the Governor.
Hopefully, as Osun government promised, the facility will be comprehensively rehabilitated to enable residents of Fadilullah and its adjoining estates access quality healthcare under a conducive atmosphere to meet one of the critical pillars of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations.