On April 28, 2016, the member representing Ajaokuta constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hassan Abdullahi Balogun, also known as chop knuckle, moved a motion on the floor of the house calling for the upgrade of State Cottage Hospital in Adogo to general hospital.
One year after, in 2017, the state government approved the remodeling and upgrading of infrastructures in selected hospitals across the state. Our beloved cottage hospital in Adogo was listed as one of the selected hospitals. Kudos to our son, the commissioner of health, Dr. Saka Haruna Audu.
According to the commissioner for health, the cottage hospital in Adogo was among the ten secondary and tertiary health infrastructural projects being embarked upon by the administration of Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello.
In 2018, bulldozers were hurriedly mobilized to site and the cottage hospital was demolished with dispatch. The speed with which the cottage was demolished gave us hope that the remodelling and upgrade will be done with speed as well. However, after few blocks were laid in what was supposed to be the foundation of new structures, the construction work stopped. Months after, the commissioner for health visited the site and assured that work will resume on Monday, 24th September 2018. He expressed optimism that the project will be completed by end of the year 2018.
Two years after, the project is still abandoned with no hope in sight. As we speak, the state of the cottage hospital is worse than it was when the government embarked on the upgrade. The Adogo cottage hospitals was functioning before the demolition, though with challenges ranging from inadequate medical personnel, non-existence of doctors’ lodge and lack of medical supplies. Doctors working in the cottage hospital were residing in neigbouring local governments. It was reliably gathered that the current doctor lives in Kabba.
It is worth mentioning that the Adogo cottage hospital is the only health institution that provides health services to Adogo, Ebiya, Eganyi, Unosi and other adjourning villages of Ajaokuta local government area.
The cottage hospital was built when we were in the old Kwara state. The state of the hospital deteriorated over the years and successive administrations in Kogi state virtually abandoned the hospital.
Adogo cottage hospital that is strategically located to serve the local government headquarters and the surrounding villages today exists more or less in name. Today, patients have to travel outside the local government headquarters for medical attention. This has resulted in untold hardship on the people, some of whom ended up losing their lives in the process of travelling long distance for medical treatments. Some people who could not even afford the cost of seeking medical attention outside their locality end up remaining with their health problems or go for some unreliable traditional medical alternatives.
It is high time the state governor make this project his top priority and save lives.
– Ibrahim Haruna writes from Lokoja.