Southwest Govt Reacts To HumAngle’s Report On Poor Renovation Of Health Centres

Our reporter visited four PHCs claimed to have been renovated and revitalized by the state but health officials and residents told this newspaper that the renovations were poorly executed as patients continue to suffer.

The Government of  Osun State,  southwest Nigeria has reacted to HumAngle’s report on the poor renovation of primary health centres in the state. 

The government in a statement by Ismail Omipidan, spokesperson to Gboyega Oyetola, Governor of the state did not fault this newspaper’s findingas. 

Rather, Omipidan said “it is not correct to say the PHCs are in shambles. Assuming, without conceding, that your assertion is correct, you cannot use a visit to just three out of the 300 we have so far completed from the 332, to make a general statement about the state of the entire PHCs.”

HumAngle investigations exposed how PHCs in the state have remained in shambles despite $20.5 million revitalisation grants the state got from World Bank.  

Our reporter visited four PHCs claimed to have been renovated and revitalized by the state but health officials and residents told this newspaper that the renovations were poorly executed as patients continue to suffer.  

Beside the fact that  the facilities were short of beds, the labour rooms have no befitting bed and there was no lie-in-ward where patients who delivered newly born babies were admitted to rest for necessary medical attention. 

In one of the health centres, a nurse drew our reporter’s attention to a kerosene lantern which she and her colleagues used in the labour room at night as standby for blackouts.

In his reaction, Omipidan argued that  “the state has done about 300 out of the 332. You can go round others in the Jolayemi area, Sabo and even Sokoto. Truth is, we have improved on our healthcare facilities and even services and our residents and citizens can attest to that.”

“Only recently, Mr. Governor inaugurated the flag off of distribution of Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) beneficiaries’ cards to 69,273 enrollees. The effort is aimed at taking healthcare to the doorstep of our people. To demonstrate our  commitment to the health and well-being of people, the government released the sum of N150 Million as take-off grant for OHIS  and over N477 million as equity grant meant for the premium for the poor, the needy and the vulnerable within our first year in office.”

“Government also established the OHIS Drug Distribution Centre which is now supplying medicines and consumables to 16 OHIS-accredited government secondary health facilities across the State to put an end to the perennial out-of-stock syndrome of medicines in government secondary healthcare facilities for health insurance enrollees.

“So far about 300,000 residents have been enrolled on the State Social Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) and 195,565 successfully enrolled and accessing care under the Scheme. And you can find out, we are one of the leading State Health Insurance Agencies in the country. We cannot be doing all these if we are irresponsible,” his statement read.  

Our findings also revealed that the PHCs rehabilitation contracts were awarded to companies owned by loyalists of the governor including  cabinet members in a clear violation of Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007. Omipidan failed to address this in his statement.

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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