13th May, 2016
The appalling state of most public hospitals in the country came to the fore once again on Friday when Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State ordered the closure of the state-owned Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital located at Unguwan Rogo area of Sokoto town.
The governor gave the order during an unscheduled visit to the hospital to assess the state of facilities there, which he described as appalling.
Information about the closure was made known in a statement made available to newsmen by the Governor’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam in Sokoto.
Imam stated that patients were moved to other public hospitals in the state capital following the order.
He stated that a feasibility study would commence immediately on how to upgrade the hospital and reopen as soon as possible.
He added that “an upgrade will start immediately and as soon as it is completed, it will be converted into a renal and cardiac centre
which establishment was earlier announced by the state government.
“The Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital will be upgraded and the new facility will become the cardiac and renal centre.”
Meanwhile, the Sokoto State Government said it spent about N50 million to provide free drugs to indigent patients in hospitals
across the state.
The fund, Imam said, was released between January and May this year and was disbursed through the state’s Zakat and Endowment Committee, an agency under the state’s Ministry of Religious Affairs.
The Chairman of the Zakat and Endowment Committee, Malam Lawal Maidoki, confirmed the development.
He said “we deposited the money in selected hospitals and pharmacies where it was drawn and used to pay drugs to those who could not afford to buy.
“It is one of the social intervention programmes of the government and so far, it has proven to be hugely successful.”