… No hospital to treat sickness in community, as chief turns ‘doctor’
…. Neighbouring hospital struggles with only three nurses, no doctor available
….. “Over 60 million Nigerians lack access to clean water”
Fawaz Adebisi & Jelili Gbadamosi
Over the years, some communities in Ogun state have been relying on contaminated water sources, leading to the spread of water-borne illnesses in the state, PLATFORM TIMES can authoritatively report.
There have been reports on how residents, especially in Ogun communities suffer lack of access to hygienic water.
PLATFORM TIMES had earlier reported how residents in a community drink stream polluted with open defecation.
Here comes another town, Bamgbade community, located in Obafemi-Owode local government area of Ogun State, where access to clean water and medical care is a tall dream .
This reporter spent some days in Bamgbade community and discovered that, for over 25 years, the inhabitants have been consuming dirty stream, which has led to numerous health problems and death.
Investigations by PLATFORM TIMES have revealed that the community relies on two river as sources of water for their daily activities, including drinking. However, these sources of water have been contaminated with various pollutants, making them unfit for human consumption.
With no hospital or medical center in the community, the residents have had to resolve to practicing self-medication, using traditional medicine, and many more, to provide medical assistance for themselves.
The situation in Bamgbade is dire, as the lack of access to basic amenities such as clean water and medical care has led to prevalence of significant number of preventable deaths and illnesses
In a shocking revelation, Apostle James narrates that a neighboring community, Eleruja community, located not too far from Bamgbade, had suffered from a water-borne disease called Guinea worm disease.
According to him, the disease had claimed a life of a young boy who was the son of the head of the community.
A resident of the community, simply identified as apostle James, mentioned that a boy’s leg had become severely swollen that worms would emerge from the leg.
According to him, in the community, most children who helped with the water collection would put their legs inside the river and bathe before the water mixed together.
PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that the practice had put the children at risk of contracting water-borne diseases.
No Hospital To Treat Sickness As Chief Turns ‘Doctor’
Compounding the problem, in Bamgbade community, is the lack of access to medical care. With no hospital or medical center in the community, the residents have had to rely on self-medication and traditional medicine to address their health problems.
PLATFORM TIMES observed that,the second in command to the traditional ruler of the community,Ibrahim Adesina, took it upon himself to provide medical assistance to those who fall ill due to drinking the contaminated water.
It was further gathered that, despite having no formal medical training, Adesina has become a self-appointed ‘doctor’ in the village, administering treatments and offering advice to those in need.
Further findings showed that the closest medical center to the community is approximately 90 kilometers away, making it difficult for residents to receive prompt medical attention when needed.
According to Adesina, residents are left with no choice but to rely on traditional herbs to care for themselves when there is no hospital available.
Adesina stated, “We mostly make use of
herbs to take good care of ourselves when there is no hospital.
“In the absence of a hospital, I am often the one who takes care of them when residents are not feeling well.”
He however, shared an incident when he was away when a pregnant woman needed urgent medical attention.
He narrated “she was taken to the Fidiwo Health Centre, a government-owned hospital 100 kilometers away, but unfortunately, there were no doctors or nurses available at the facility, leaving the woman and her family helpless.
“The woman was then taken to the Sacred Heart Hospital in Ajebo, a privately-owned hospital, where she finally received the care she needed.”
“Had it been there was no alternative, she would have lost her life or the baby'” he lamented.
He therefore expressed his concern about the challenges faced by residents of the community, especially pregnant women and those with severe health conditions, urging the state government to help.
“We need a hospital in our community, so, we can have access to medical care whenever we need it,” he added.
Neighbouring Hospital Struggles With Only Three Nurses, No Doctor Available
When this reporter visited the Fidiwo Health Centre, a neighboring hospital to Bamigbade community, there was no difference from not having a hospital or health center.
It was observed that the condition of the road leading to the hospital is terrible, making it difficult for patients to access the healthcare facility.
One resident, who chose to remain anonymous, stated, “If you wear white clothes, it will get dirty immediately.”
Upon arriving at the hospital, it becomes apparent that the facility is not up to standard, the area is bushy, and only one building is available for patients.
It was further gathered that there is no water in the hospital, as the hospital only has one nurse on site, while no doctor was available to attend to patients.
One of the nurses at the hospital,Mrs. Funmilayo Osho stated that she was just transferred to the facility, and that there are only two nurses with her, making it a total of three medical staff.
She further explained that they would be working both morning and night shifts, indicating how overwhelmed they are, due to the lack of personnel.
The situation at the hospital is dire, and it extends beyond the lack of medical staff, as the hospital uses a pit toilet, which has no door and is in a state of disrepair.
PLATFORM TIMES was told that patients have no choice but to use paper to clean themselves after using the restroom.
Mrs Osho stated, “We need more staff and better facilities to serve the people in our community. We want to provide the best possible care to our patients, but we cannot do that without the necessary resources.
“We use pit while feeling uneasy, we have no water, no doctor, no facility and adequate equipment.”
“Over 60 million Nigerians Lack Access To Clean Water”
Access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services is a fundamental human right and a critical determinant of health and well-being. Unfortunately, as stated by WaterAid, an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) focused on water, sanitation and hygiene, Nigeria is among the countries facing significant challenges in providing these essential services to its citizens.
According to the NGO’s fact-sheet, more than 60 million people in Nigeria lack access to basic clean water supply, which means they have to rely on unsafe water sources such as rivers, lakes, and ponds. This lack of access to clean water puts these individuals at high risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery.
Moreover, the fact-sheet states that 12 million people in Nigeria do not have decent toilets, which means they practice open defecation, leading to the spread of diseases and environmental pollution. Open defecation also increases the risk of violence against women and girls, who are often vulnerable when they go out to defecate in the open.
The lack of handwashing facilities with soap and water is another critical challenge highlighted by WaterAid. The NGO estimates that 167 million people in Nigeria lack access to this essential facility, putting them at a higher risk of infections such as COVID-19, which can be prevented through regular handwashing with soap and water.
Access to WASH services in rural communities in Nigeria is even more problematic, as the fact-sheet notes. Rural communities often lack basic infrastructure such as water supply systems, sanitation facilities, and handwashing stations. This makes them more vulnerable to the health risks associated with poor WASH services.
The impact of climate change is also expected to exacerbate the water scarcity situation in Nigeria, as noted by WaterAid. The NGO predicts that by 2030, water scarcity will displace between 24 million and 700 million people globally. This will have significant implications for Nigeria, where many people already lack access to clean water. The UN further warns that by 2040, one in four children may be living in areas of extremely high water stress.
The Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2018 data also reveals a worrying trend in rural communities. According to the data, between 2013 to 2018, the percentage of rural households with a place for washing hands decreased from 37.1 percent to 22.5 percent. This is a significant drop and a cause for concern, as regular hand washing is essential to prevent the spread of diseases.
The data also shows an increase in the percentage of the rural population with limited hand washing facilities from 56.3 percent in 2013 to 62.7 percent in 2018. This means that more people in rural communities are at risk of infections due to the lack of hand washing facilities with soap and water. Additionally, the percentage of cleansing agents other than soap available in rural communities decreased from 8.2 percent to 1 percent, highlighting the need for increased access to basic hygiene supplies.
The lack of access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene services is a critical issue in Nigeria, particularly in rural communities.
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