By Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Friday ordered the closure of the state owned Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital located at Unguwan Rogo area of Sokoto metropolis.
The order was sequel to an unscheduled visit by the Governor to assess the state of facilities in the hospital.
Health professionals had voiced concern over the substandard facilities at the hospital, and urged the government to intervene for the benefit of the populace.
A visit to the hospital showed that apart from lack of basic health facilities, the integrity of the buildings could not be guaranteed due to cracks on the walls and roofs blown off by wind.
THISDAY checks revealed that all patients had been moved to other public hospitals in the state capital, while feasibility study had commenced on how to upgrade the facilities and reopen as soon as possible.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, confirmed to journalists in Sokoto, that once the upgrade was completed, it would be converted into a renal and cardiac centre whose establishment was earlier announced by the state government.
“Yes I can confirm that the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital will be upgraded. The new facility will host the proposed cardiac and renal centre while the Amanawa Leprosareum will be converted to an Infectious Diseases Hospital,” Imam said.
Meanwhile, Sokoto State government said it expended about N50m to provide free drugs to indigent patients in hospitals and pharmaceutical stores across the state.
The funds, released between January and May this year, were expended through the state Zakat and Endowment Committee, an agency under the state Ministry of Religious Affairs.
“We deposit the funds in selected hospitals and pharmacies to provide drugs to all those who cannot afford to buy. It is one of the social intervention programmes of the government and so far, it has proven to be hugely successful,” chairman of the state Zakat and Endowment Committee, Malam Lawal Maidoki said.