In 2012, a Primary Health Centre (PHC)) was built for the people of Ashuwa community, a rural community in Magama Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State. This was a welcome development as, for the first time ever, they were able to access their healthcare needs with ease. Before the PHC was built, community members travelled to Yangalu and Ibeto, nearby communities and even the town of Kontagora, for their healthcare needs.
A decade after, Ashuwa community members can no longer access healthcare from their PHC and this time, it is simply because there is no health worker available. According to Usman Galadima, the Ashuwa Community Leader, “We have never had a permanent health worker in the health facility since it was built. When they post any health worker, he or she comes for a few days and stops coming. We still must travel to other communities for healthcare. Women cannot have antenatal care, and women giving birth cannot do so in the health facility. The facility has been locked”. Galadima added that because the health facility has not been in use, the infrastructure is worn down. “The building is now dilapidated, and there is no equipment,” he said.
Human resource for health is one of the most critical needs of any health facility. Qualified and motivated human resource for health is essential for robust health care delivery. Without them, health facilities are nothing but mere buildings. Ashuwa community members deserve access to quality comprehensive healthcare, Magama LGA authorities and the Niger State government must, as a matter of urgency,
- Recruit and deploy adequate and trained health workers to Ashuwa PHC.
- Rehabilitate the worn-out sections of the PHC.
- Provide necessary equipment and provide security for the PHC.