Drug scarcity as well as lack of other essential medical items have crippled operations at the State House Medical Centre, Abuja (aka Aso Rock Clinic) despite the N3.87bn allocated to it in the 2016 Appropriation Act.
As a result, the centre situated in Asokoro area of the Federal Capital Territory, is slowly becoming a shadow of its old self, investigations by Punch revealed.
Speaking to correspondents of the news outfit, a cross-section of the centre’s patients revealed that they were now being told to purchase drugs from outside because they were no longer available in the centre.
It was further gathered that patients with kidney problems who are currently undergoing dialysis in the health facility were the most affected by the current situation. Even though some of the patients are supposed to be undergoing the dialysis at least two times in a week, the management of the Aso Rock clinic has been cancelling such exercise lately, thereby risking the patients’ lives.
In some cases where the patients are attended to, they were asked to come with some of the items to be used by the doctors. It is so bad that the hospital management now sends sends text messages to patients telling them items they should buy as while coming for their treatment.
One of such messages read:
“Mr. XXX (names withheld), when u (sic) are coming for dialysis on Monday, buy IVF Normal Saline to be used for ur (sic) dialysis. The office doesn’t have it. Buy like four pieces.”
Another patient narrated his experience at the Aso Rock Clinic, saying that he had a crisis recently because the centre cancelled his routine dialysis due to non-availability of bloodline. He displayed a message sent to him on the cancellation which read:
“Gudevening (sic), we can’t dialize (sic) you tomorrow because we don’t have bloodline. When it is available, I will get back to you. Pls (sic) dialyse (sic) somewhere else. Thanks.”
The patient went on to say that he was referred to a private hospital in Garki where he paid N20,000 the first time the session was cancelled. However, when he could not afford the cost the second time, he was directed to a different hospital in Wuse and following the stress he was subjected to, his health condition deteriorated by the time he got home. By midnight, he was rushed to the hospital where he spent three days.
Many other patients who spoke on the issue revealed that the medical centre could no longer boast of “ordinary malaria drugs.”
“The clinic does not even have ordinary paracetamol. Paracetamol was included in the list of drugs they asked me to go and buy recently. Before now, they were giving us drugs.” another patient said.