Gwarjiko Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Gwarjiko community, Wushishi Local Government Area (LGA) in Niger State has several challenges. Even though the PHC has staff quarters, which are not often found in health facilities of this kind, the health facility suffers from poor infrastructure and lack of essential medicines. According to Abdullahi Muhammad, who is a health worker at the facility, there are only two health workers providing services to the community members. Muhammad added that ‘’There is no toilet in the facility, and both male and female patients have to share the only ward available in the PHC’’. Muhammad also reiterated that even the staff quarters need repair as the structure is completely dilapidated. ‘’It is totally inhabitable’’, he said.
Rakiya Garba, a community member said that the most challenging issue for women in the community is that the delivery room of the PHC is not well equipped, and that discourages women from going to the health facility to give birth. In Niger State, Only 25.8% of women give birth in health facilities in Niger State, according to the 2018 National Demographic Health Survey.
For Muhammed Muhammed, another community member, the fact that they always must go to Wushishi town to get medication prescribed by health workers at the Gwarjiko PHC is worrisome for the community. ‘’They don’t have drugs. Anytime you come here, they write the drugs, and we have to go and get them at Wushishi and it is far from here’’.
Health facilities can only function well when the necessary medication is available at the point of need and the necessary health workers are available. In addition, adequate water and sanitation provision, as well as toilets basic infrastructures is necessary for a functional PHC to provide minute care for users. These are some of the needs of any health facility in addition to well-equipped and functional delivery rooms to ensure that women giving birth are guaranteed quality care.
Wushishi LGA and the Niger State government need to rehabilitate Gwarjiko PHC and ensure the provision of the necessary equipment required, to deliver care ensuring there is a consistent supply of quality medicines, reducing the need for users to Wushishi town. The universal access to quality health services is basic right for all citizens.