KANO – It was a Monday morning at the only Primary Health Care (PHC) center in Saye town, a suburb in Bichi Local Government area, more than 30 kilometers from Kano city.
At about 7:00am of that day, patients had besieged the healthcare centre for treatment, but waited impatiently for over three hours without a single health worker that showed up. Even as the gate was shut without even a security guard.
When PRIME TIME NEWS correspondent arrived Saye town, a village of about 1,000 population, saw the patients, most of which were in critical condition but were not attended to, as no health workers available.
A pregnant woman, who identified herself as Amina, was in a critical condition but was left lying on a bare floor without a doctor.
Ms Amina, who was gasping to speak, said she spent more than two days without urinating, and her fetus moved up and down with pains.
“I came here at 7:00a.m and have been waiting for the health workers since then. Yes, none of them has shown. I have been in this condition for some days but have not.had medical attention” Ms Amina said.
Another patient, Maimuna, waiting anxiously to be attended as she was in severe pain, said she spent over three hours but had not seen a single staff of the centre.
Maimuna, who was suffering from hepatitis, said doctors told her that too much intake of herbal medicine is tje cause of her ailment.
She states that she had to resort to using traditional medicine as a result of the failed healthcare system in the town, adding that many residents Jabe been forced to using herbal treatment in the village.
“My name is Hussain from Tanga-Iyaw. I have brought my brother to this PHC for treatment but as usual, they don’t come on time and sometimes they tell us that drugs are not available,” another resident cried out.
“Many village here prefer using herbs, leaves and trunk as well as other traditional means of medicine to help ourselves. We are helpless and I think the government has forgotten us.
“Many pregnant women from nearly eight villages come here for child delivery. We have no choice because this is the only facility we have, even though to many of us, this PHC is only needful when child labour goes out of hand. The PHC is not functional.” said Hussain.
“As you can see, all places in the health centre were locked except the filthy patients ward with torn out set of matrass, few bloody bedsheets, no pillow for patients,” he added
Our correspondent also observed that the health center is in a sorry state, as even the public toilet is in an unhealthy condition.
However, PRIME TIME NEWS learnt that the health facility lacks enough workers and only one doctor attends people once in a week.
“Doctors here don’t work for 24 hours, they open when they feel pleased and close at 12p.m sometimes at 2p.m.” the residents said.
Our correspondent then proceeded to Badume, where he met one Malam Iliyasu Okada, a motorcycle rider who took him through Tukuibi village, a settlement with over one thousand residents, but apparently has no road and a wrecked classrooms.
Iliyasu told PRIME TIME NEWS that although there is a road from the main road through Badume, it has not reached Saye town, “and even this has number of potholes even though we’re forced to get use to the unfortunate condition. There are no roads to all the villages in this area, not even to Saye town and as a result, there have been a lot of accidents on the roads.”
Another settlement after Tukuibi village is Bankaura, this domain has a bit dense population but PRIME TIME NEWS learnt that their school had only two blocks, structurally heartbreaking with only two teachers catering for the need of hundreds of pupils.
“It is unfortunate that we have been for donkey years plying this road but the situation still remained the same – no development in all terms.”
“Most of the people in this community are farmers, we produce Tomatoes and other farm products that on daily basis, nearly 200 trucks come in here to convey goods to the city as well as other neighbouring state.”
“I have been living in this area for over thirty years and the road, schools, primary healthcare units have been deplorable; in fact, everything is getting worse here that we feel as though we are in Kano. The government should listen to our cry and come to our aid to make the place conducive for us,” Iliyasu lamented.
Saye Dilapidated Primary School
Saye primary school was established in 70s but most of classrooms in the school are dilapidated.
PRIME TIME NEWS reporter met with a teacher in the school who spoke on the condition of anonymity that they have over 2000 students and no students’ desk was brought to them by Kano government, not even final year pupils, primary six students, “they all sit on mats – as a matter of fact, even teachers are in quagmire here.”
He lamented that as the state government opened schools and asked authorities to practice NCDC rules, Saye primary school was only given three bottles of hand sanitizer, three bottles of hand washing soap, two pair of toilet paper and a pump bucket, we were not given a single face mask.”
“I don’t know, but Kano government is making us to believe that COVID-19 is not but just a premeditated lies.” Said the teacher.
When our reporter asked teachers to take him to students’ toilet facility in the school, they deviated and refused to, but the structure according to him poor and covered in grasses.
Zailani and Yahya Musa Magaji are residents of Saye Town, they lamented that almost everything that eases life cannot be found in their settlement, saying that life has always been hard to them.
“We’ve always been told a vacant promise right from my childhood that the government is coming to attend to us. For so many years, these communities have been in darkness. We have spent over eight months with electricity in Saye.
Speaking to an elderly person in the community told PRIME TIME NEWS that the level hardship people are facing is very devastating and no angle of development will rate 1 percent in their domain.
“Saye primary school has been here for years, many classes don’t have doors, windows and furniture. Roofings are wrecked and in bad shape. The renovations you saw at girl’s secondary were done by the residents in the communities.”
“Here we often donate money to raise some part because there is need for our kids to be in school. We have paid several visits to the authorities in Kano, forwarded letters to the state government about our plight but we only see them during election period. Sometimes, we wonder if we are not part of Kano state…sometimes we even think we’re not part of Nigeria.”
“Everything here is just sorry…”
When contacted, the Executive Secretary Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr Tijjani Hussain told PRIME TIME NEWS that he is aware of the current conditions at rural PHCs and changes will come soon.
Dr Tijjani who spoke through the PRO of the Board, Nabilusi Abubakar Kofar Na’isa on Tuesday night, said that the new Executive Secretary has promised to checkmate the situation in all the PHCs in the rural settlements in terms of failure to attend the PHCs by the health workers and other challenges.
He reiterated that Kano state government remained committed to boost healthcare delivery to all citizens in the state.
Part two of the story is coming…