Malagi is a rural community in Gbako Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State with a population of about two thousand people. However, the only Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in the community has been in a deplorable condition for over ten years. According to Muhammad Abdullahi, the in charge of the PHC, the facility lacks all the basic needs to function. ‘’There is no toilet, when there is need, health workers and patients make use of the bush’’ he said. He added that the PHC has only one bed with no mattress. In addition, there is no source of water in the PHC, and there is no electricity either. ‘’The worse situation is that the floor of the facility is not cemented. So, we provide healthcare on sandy ground’’
Usman Yunusa is a resident of Malagi. He narrated that the PHC is not meeting the healthcare needs of the community members. According to Yunusa, the condition of the PHC is leaving them with no option but to seek healthcare from traditional medicine healers. “Most of our women do not go for antenatal due to the condition of the facility. When they are to deliver, they are attended to by traditional birth attendants except when the condition is serious then we take them to the hospital in Lemu or Wushishi General Hospital’’, Yunusa further narrated.
Amina Usman, another resident of the community said most women do not go to the PHC for antenatal because their needs are not provided for at the facility. ‘’No drugs, no toilet, nothing. It is not a health facility’’.
Malagi PHC could best be described as a mere broken structure. It does not only lack almost every need of a health facility; it also doesn’t have the confidence of the community it is meant to serve. Gbako LGA and Niger State government should carry out a complete rehabilitation of the PHC and equip it with necessary facilities, equipment, medications, and manpower. Through that, the confidence of the community in the PHC will be restored and they will perhaps start seeking healthcare from the facility instead of resorting to traditional medicine healers and traditional birth attendants.