Urgent Call to Action: The Dilapidated State of Marke’s Primary Health Care
Nigeria’s poor condition of some primary healthcare centers is a significant concern. A recent visit by a team from Bridge Connect Africa Initiative (BCAI) to the Marke Community in Saidawa Ward, which is surrounded by the communities of Zakirai, Unguwar Ganji, and Ruwan Kuka in Dambatta Local Government Area of Kano State, highlighted the urgent need for action to address the dilapidated and non-functioning Primary Healthcare Center in the area. BCAI is a non-governmental organization that promotes and protects women’s and girls’ rights through policy reform and implementation.
The Marke Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) is no longer functional due to its dilapidated state. The visit revealed the building to be old, with no roof, crumbling walls, and overgrown with dry grass. There are no structures, it is without medical supplies and equipment. The lack of access to regular treatment and diagnosis affects the community members.
Photos showing the current state of the Primary Healthcare Center in Marke community
The poor state of the Marke Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) is causing significant harm to the community, especially to women and girls.
The community, which has around 3,000 households, is facing a violation of their right to access quality healthcare. The dilapidated state of the PHC, combined with the lack of necessary equipment and medical supplies, results in a higher rate of preventable illnesses and deaths among the community members.
Our team was inquisitive and resolved to investigate the reasons behind the dilapidated state of the Primary Healthcare Center (PHC) in the Marke Community. A phone interview was conducted with the community head, who stated in his words:
“Since the collapse of this Primary Healthcare Center (PHC), it has been over ten (10) years without a functioning hospital. I have done my best by visiting the head of the Local Government Chairman about twenty times and following due legal processes through writing, but to no avail. Despite visiting the dilapidated facility to complete paperwork, the government officials’ efforts were in vain as the outcome was abortive. The health expert in
charge struggled to manage the limited space in the healthcare center, which was later unavailable until a generous member of the community stepped in and offered his kiosk for temporary use. This allowed the health expert to attend to patients, give recommendations, and issue drugs.”
It is a tragic irony that a community can be left without a functioning healthcare center. This is different from what we call progress and governance. A decade without an active hospital, yet no one seems to care. The community head added:
“The lack of access to infrastructure amenities such as roads, electricity, and healthcare systems leaves us with no choice but to wait for divine intervention. In case of emergencies, such as childbirth, the process occurs at home. If complications arise, the person is transported via bus or tricycle to Dambatta, a nearby town located a few kilometers from Kano City. However, this journey to the hospital is often perilous as the poor road conditions lead to loss of lives or severe suffering”.
How can we continue to neglect the provision of infrastructure amenities such as roads, electricity, and healthcare systems, when it means risking lives in emergencies such as childbirth?
The government should allocate funds to renovate and maintain the PHC building and ensure it is equipped with the necessary medical equipment and supplies. It is also crucial for the government to investigate why the primary healthcare center has been in disrepair for over a decade and hold officials accountable for their lack of action.
Moreover, the community should be actively involved in the decision-making process and implementation of the renovation project. A monitoring system should be established to ensure that the PHC provides adequate healthcare services to the community.
NGOs can also provide support by providing training and resources for healthcare workers and by working on policy reforms to ensure that the community’s right to access quality healthcare is upheld.
Written by Sadiq Abubakar