Boko Haram destroyed 267 hospitals, clinics in Borno – Commissioner

Another non-functional hospital overgrown with weed

At least 267 hospitals and primary healthcare centres were destroyed in Borno State by Boko Haram, the state commissioner of Health, Haruna Mshellia, has revealed.

The destruction affects 248 primary health care centres and 19 general hospitals, he said.

The state has 48 general hospitals of which most are in the areas recently liberated by the military.

Boko Haram in 2014 seized about 21 local government areas of the state and held unto them for nearly two years. During the occupation, the insurgents destroyed virtually public service facilities like hospitals.

Mr. Mshellia, who was speaking at a press briefing during the Borno NUJ Press Week, said many health workers were killed and several others fled the state.

“Many of our health workers were targets of the Boko Haram insurgents”, the health commissioner said.

“Innocent health workers were killed in cold blood,” he said.

According to the commissioner, the state government in 2016 began reconstruction of most of the health facilities in the state.

According to him, the government has so far invested N4.5 billion on procurement of hospital equipment and medical consumables.

He said hospitals especially in major local government headquarters are being upgraded, while six new general hospitals are also being built in Borgu, Baga, Gajiram, Kukawa, Gongulon and Maimusari villages.

One of the new hospitals is the 250-bed Women and Children Hospital where all medical services, including breast cancer screenings, are carried out free of charge.

He said a brand new paediatric complex comprising four main wards is being built at Maiduguri Specialist Hospital as well as in Biu Benusheik and Dikwa towns.

He said the state government currently has 126 medical doctors on its payroll, while 45 other doctors currently serving as national youth corps members are also engaged in the state.

On the recent ambush of medical supplies by insurgents along Damboa -Maiduguri highway, the commissioner confirmed that the state ministry of Health lost two trucks containing medical supplies meant for Damboa, and Askira-Uba local government areas.

He however denied the rumour that the assorted drugs and other related medical supplies they seized were enough to last the insurgents’ medical needs for a whole year.

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