A report by Gavel, a non-government organization, in four states: Lagos, Oyo, Niger, and Abuja, has identified shortage of trained health care workers, inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), relief materials, as well as uneven and underpayment of stipends during COVID-19.
The report, which focused on the utilization of COVID-19 funds and palliatives, and highlighted findings from 34 healthcare centers in the four states, also revealed that there was illegal procurement of COVID-19 vaccination cards by individuals, with the connivance of some workers in healthcare facilities. This further gives credence to the Federal Government’s clamp down on merchants of this illegal trade.
The report said: “In Lagos, there was a shortage of PPEs in most facilities visited. There were also shortage of trained health workers, and those at the facility were underpaid their promised stipends, and relief materials (palliative) not evenly distributed.
“In Oyo, there was a shortage of trained health workers, and relief materials (palliative) were not evenly distributed. Even stipends promised to frontliners by the government were not paid. At Oyo State Primary Health Care Board centre, only senior officers had access to relief materials, while junior staff were exempted.
“In Abuja, as reported by a respondent from the community, there was fraud/malpractice where he was advised at two different health facilities that the vaccination card – which is proof such a person has been vaccinated, could be procured without being vaccinated. He was charged N20,000 and N15,000.
“In Niger, respondents from health facilities attested that vaccines were administered for free and no one demanded fee. There was a shortage of trained health workers, and no relief materials were given to them. Also, respondents from the community corroborated that they were not charged any fee to access the vaccine.”
The NGO said petitions were sent to the agency monitoring primary health care in each state where there was corruption or malpractices; Primary Health Care Board/Agency, with Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, copied.
The healthcare centres visited in Oyo State are: Primary Health Center Ido, Ido; Oyo state Primary Health Care Board, Secretariat, Ibadan; Primary Health Center, Apete; Primary Health Center, Ajibode; Primary Health Center, Ori Apata, Agbowo Hamdala Hospital, Agbowo; Primary Health care, Samonda; and
Primary Health Center old Deide.
The healthcare centres visited in Abuja are: Primary Healthcare Centre, Kubwa; Primary Healthcare Centre, Dutse Alhaji; Primary Healthcare Centre, Bwari Primary; Healthcare Centre, Bwari Chikakore Clinic, Bwari; PHC Dutse Makaranta; General Hospital, Kubwa; Police Clinic Health Center Gariki, Abuja; Mabuchi Health Center, Abuja; Gbazango Community Primary Health Center, Kubwa Abuja; Primary Health Center Shagari Quarters; and Primary Health Center Old Deide.
The healthcare centres visited in Lagos are: Primary Healthcare Centre, Yaba; Primary Healthcare Centre, Magodo; General Hospital, Lagos Island; CMS Primary Healthcare, Ilaje-Bariga Itafaji Health Post; Onala Health Post; Agarawu Health Care; Araromi Health Care, Obalende; Anikantamo Primary Health Care Massey Health Care; and Lagos Island Maternity.
The healthcare centers visited in Niger are: Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF); Primary Health Care Clinic, Suleja; and Comprehensive Health Centre, Suleja.
Article written by Moses Emorinken, Abuja.