By Muhammad Rabiu Jibrin (Mr. J)
It is heartbreaking and horrible that in a country that operates democracy, a nearby house is turned into a medicine store, and no matter the condition of a patient, they can’t be treated in the maternity when it’s raining. Windstorms blew off the roof some time ago. This has been the condition the people of the Komi community found themselves in for a long time despite reports that the gory images of the worn-out structure of the maternity have been submitted to the relevant authorities.
The 22-year-old maternity with a 6442 target population has been in deplorable condition for about 7-8 years. Owls and other birds made their nests in its ceiling before the damage worsened to the extent that they had no option but to vacate. The staff in the structure reportedly killed two puff adder snakes. The maternity clinic was built in 2000 by the then Funakaye Local Government Chairman Alhaji Abubakar Abubakar BD to ease people’s lives.
Not more than a month ago, the price of 25 litres jerrican of water skyrocketed from 100 naira – which has been viewed as expensive to any subsistent farmer – to 250 naira forcing many people to sleep on empty stomachs and animals stood thirstily. Until the rain became steady, the rain-softened earth dams retained some water, and the community breathed a sigh of relief from the cancerous lack of drinking water.
As part of their contribution towards curtailing the damages before it went beyond control, every civil servant in the community was tasked with a sum of one thousand naira monthly, which was used in repairing damaged places for a couple of months.
What has been happening could be viewed as an infringement of the right to health guaranteed in chapter 2, section 17, subsection 3(d) of the 1999 Federal Republic of Nigeria constitution. Under the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, the ‘Right to Health’ has been guaranteed.
Also, it has been accorded recognition by many international treaties in which Nigeria is part and parcel. These include the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination (CEFD), the convention on the rights of the Child (CRC), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) among others.
It is high time the government came to the rescue of this community. Likewise, non Governmental Organizations and well-to-do individuals should, for a matter of help, come to their aid too.
Muhammad Rabiu Jibrin (Mr J) wrote from Gombe via email@example.com.