Re: Technical killing of Toro hospital - Punch Newspapers
The most widely read newspaper in Nigeria
27 September 2021I was a little startled to find a 10-paragraphed highly opinionated article published in The PUNCH dated, September 3, 2021. It is a tradition, however, that such allegations as contained in the said article are inevitable in any public or private formation. The article was particularly awesome because it was authored by someone who is neither part of the hospital community nor a direct stakeholder in the administration of the facility in question.
It took me some time to see the reason in responding to the write-up which was obvious: to refute his baseless claims and clarify the present state of affairs.I assumed duty as medical officer of Toro General Hospital in January 2020. The hospital’s new site which has a 96-bed capacity was too small a space to serve the population of Toro Local Government Area and some areas from the neighbouring Kaduna and Plateau states, coupled with its water supply shortage and poor sanitation in the ward and toilet areas. The old site had been abandoned and fast degenerated into a dumping ground of refuse and home for rodents. Not only that, the staff quarters and low cost houses were also in a state of disrepair.
To arrest the situation, the hospital management had within its coffers and support from the NSHIP, renovated the 48-bed capacity Female Ward of the old site. Soon after inauguration, the hospital was selected as one of the centres approved for the treatment of endemics. As a result, another 48-bed capacity ward, the Male Ward, as well as the old maternity and other buildings were also renovated to serve as additional wards, modern isolation centre and Dental Complex respectively. Water problem was substantially addressed as we reconstructed the borehole at the hospital’s old site and remade the overhead tanks. headtopics.com
With the foregoing, we received equipment, beds and beddings from the government and the private sector. In fact, most of the medical equipment and consumables the writer listed were supplied during this period and are still fully functional in the hospital at the moment.
In addition, the state government provided a new ambulance and we repaired the old one as well as the utility bus and main generator, which are all fully functional and readily available for display to any one so desirous of such.However, it was noteworthy that except for the beds and beddings donated by the Zenith Bank, all other consumables and personal protective equipment were meant for distribution across the 20 local government areas of the state, and they were soon conveyed to Bauchi for onward distribution to other local governments after taking our part therefrom. Perhaps, it was at the conveyance point that the writer stood and wants the public to believe that such items were finagled out of the General Hospital on personal grounds.
The public should also note that with the current mass renovation of key government infrastructure embarked upon by the state government in which Toro General Hospital is a beneficiary, the remaining buildings in the old site of the hospital, and the defaced staff quarters are to receive a new look. Consequently, old roofing sheets, doors and windows were removed and auctioned out through the Ministry of Health as was done in all other infrastructure receiving the same renovation across the state. It wasn’t our management’s decision, anyway. This is an irrefutable fact; still, the writer alleged these materials were moved out of the facility through the backdoor.
Read AlsoTechnical killing of Toro hospitalIt must also be vividly stressed that from the assumption of office, I discovered a looming gap between the hospital management and key stakeholders in the host community. The communities have a say on the services they are offered as well as play a custodian role on the infrastructure and the assets it houses. We thus constituted a Hospital’s Friends Committee, made up of representatives of communities from across the three Districts of the local government area. It seems irrational for any writer worth their onion to write without backing their claims with facts and figures from the community whom we have fully engaged earlier. headtopics.com
The conundrum and hullabaloo revealed another angle through which the writer saw the acclaimed problem when he earlier wrote in the Blueprint newspaper of July 27, where he said the hospital lacked facilities to serve, saying the Federal Government should intervene and convert the facility into a Federal Medical Centre. Thus, if the facilities were lacking in the first place, what then was stolen?
Whatsoever the motive is, however, time, and only time shall tell, while history will judge between the good, the bad and the ugly. Therefore, the public must be informed and be fully aware, and disregard such false narratives.Dr Adamu Sambo, Chief Medical Officer,
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