Just like plants, animals need water, sun, and air to survive, not to mention extra and tender care. So does man. Man would need good and nutritious food, clean water, shelter, and, most definitely, a good healthcare system to fall back on when the time arises.
Somewhere in Kaduna is a community situated around its suburbs called “Kurmin Kaduna.” Kurmin Kaduna is a community in Kaduna State where its members lack every bit of quality of life. In this community, villagers commute in and out of the community through the use of local canoes, cross over a large body of water to get food items and have access to a conducive environment for their businesses as well as good healthcare systems.
According to the locals, it was estimated that this community houses about 10,000 children, youth, and adults. All of whom are expected to live and thrive in an unconducive atmosphere.
In the quest to research more, Daily Episode took a trip to this estranged community, where we had to take a local canoe to cross over, as that was the only route into the community.
At first glance, the buildings are mostly made of local bricks, with only a few having modern buildings. Children who are of school age could also be seen playing and wandering around the village; this, we gathered, was due to the lack of educational structures. A community where her children have no access to basic amenities like roads, business grounds, and basic education is expected to lack traces of good healthcare systems and structures. However, it is not the same for this community.
As we went further into the village, we met some young, agile lads who were willing to tell us more about the condition of the community. But they cannot do this without the permission of the community leaders, which consist of the youth community leader, the community security head, the elders, and the community head.
Meeting up with the head of security made it all better as he grieved and spoke seriously about the condition of the community, with an extreme focus on their healthcare. To make it all more believable, we took a trip down to the primary healthcare facility located at the extreme end of the community. far from the villagers. This facility we expected to be dilapidated, but we were shocked to find it in very good and impressive condition. However, there was a much more shocking discovery: it was locked.
The youth leader further told Daily Episode that “the community was provided with two well-equipped primary healthcare facilities with no practitioners.” The particular facility we were at was said to be managed by only one medical practitioner; a female nurse who lives far from the community and doesn’t come regularly. Albeit, on days when she comes, she has to close early due to how far she has to travel back home.
The youth leader also mentions that “although the facility has little to no government-employed staff, members of the community are always willing to volunteer, and they try their best to make sure that other members of the community get their basic health care needs.”
Just as we were preparing to leave, we experienced another heartbreaking encounter. A young mother named Aisha Sani was brought to the facility in a frenzy. She came in with her sick newborn, who was in urgent need of medical attention.
However, she was met with our sad faces and a locked-up healthcare facility. Just as expected, she was sad. This is because her only alternative will involve going outside the community with her newborn, meaning she will have to cross over a large body of water with her infant. During our interview with her, she lamented, “My baby is sick, and here I am at the hospital with the intention of getting him treated, but now I have to go home and get herbs so he can get better.”
Comrade Dauda Ismail, the community youth leader, also mentioned, “Today is the prescribed immunisation day for every newborn and other infant who is still in the age bracket, but look, the facility is locked up, and even the volunteers will help us out to source for their livelihood as well.”
He further explained that “the volunteers are not paid; they only help as members of the community, just like every one of them, as that is their own way of giving back to the community, and this includes the vigilante group that ensures that the facility is safe from the hands of burglars.” The situation was really heartbreaking, and they sought the help of the government.
The community youth leader, comrade Dauda Ismail, lamented, “I wonder if the government still remembers that members of Kurmin Kaduna are citizens of the state as they do not care about our well-being.”
He then pleaded with the government: “They don’t have to employ people from other communities; the community has youth who specialise in the healthcare sector and are willing to work and dedicate their time to the progress of the community.”
The security head also said his bit:
This is an urgent call to the government, CSOs, NGOs, NPOs, MBAs, and every concerned citizen of Kaduna State and Nigeria at large.
Kurmin Kaduna is a community with vast land, industrious youth, and children with hopes of a promising future, however, for these dreams to come true, there is a need for good and basic infrastructure. A community that has no healthcare practitioners but has basic healthcare facilities is no better than a community without any healthcare facilities; therefore, it is time to act. He added
We are indeed experiencing a shortage of human resources in Kaduna State. In our efforts to provide citizens access to healthcare services, we promised the construction of a single primary healthcare facility across every word in Kaduna State, which we were able to accomplish. Dr Neyu Illiyasu, Director of the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Board Management, discloses this to Daily Episode.
According to him, the state has recently recruited health workers to fill in and replace the disengaged and retired staff and the health care service. However, deployments are based on population and rate of disease burden; therefore, after our supervision, we will know if we are to deploy staff to the Kurmin Kaduna primary healthcare system.