It is no longer news that the Health Sector of Kogi State suffered a huge loss and setback following the vandalism, destruction and looting of medical equipment and consumables on Monday the 26th of October, 2020.
Earlier that day, restive youths had invaded warehouses in search of palliatives and at about 11 a.m, hoodlums seized the opportunity to invade the State Central Medical Store as well as the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) Unit in the State that houses the State Cold Store located along zone 8, Lokoja – the engine room of the State Primary health Care Development Agency.
This unfortunate development came at a time when the Agency was undergoing training at the Local Government level preparatory for the Modified Integrated Medical Outreach Programme (MI-MOP) and State Immunization Plus Days (SIPDs). Sadly, commodities just received towards the implementation of these activities were also lost.
The items carted away and those damaged are inexhaustible at the moment but most devastating is the total destruction of the cold chain unit where 36 Solar batteries, 3 circuit breakers, 6 Walk-in cold room compressors, 100 KVA Inverter, 60 KVA/450 volts AVR, solar wires, armoured cables, walk-in cold room AC condenser, Generator Batteries, 15 large Freezers, all the Window and split ACs and all ceiling fans were stolen.
Office equipment including infrared thermometers, Flat screen TVs for presentations, File cabinets, office safe, water dispenser, all Desktops and laptops, all printers, all stabilizers, all office and conference chairs, all giostyles/cold boxes, cartons of face masks, hand sanitizers, face shield, pen markers, antiseptic liquid, hand gloves, medical goggles, duplicating paper, mama kits, assorted drugs, water boiler, overhead tank and sprayers were carted away.
Unverified number of vaccines, diluents and empty vials and drugs were also destroyed.
The State Central Medical Store was not spared either. Sophisticated medical equipment such as MRI/CT scan machines, computed Tomography machines, Digital Mammography, Digital Radiography, unquantified assorted drugs and office equipment were carted away and those they could not carry were vandalized beyond repair and parts taken away.
Dr Abubakar Yakubu – Executive Director KGSPHCDA who has been worriedly doing all it takes and working with security personnel since the day of the incident to assess and document damages done describes the situation as a huge setback that will take not less than 20 years to recover from except by divine intervention, drastic and timely support from Donor Agencies, Development Partners, the International and National community to revive Immunization and Cold Chain in the State.
A Press Conference was held to notify the World of the unfortunate incident that befell the Health sector of Kogi State after which the ED conducted the Honourable Commissioner round the premises to view extent of damage.
The State Government has deployed security personnel to guard the premises and save what little is left behind as scavengers are still sighted trying to scout for whatever is left that they can lay hold of. In addition, the Agency assisted by the Kogi State Government and NPHCDA have arranged for the immediate evacuation of vaccines from the State Cold Store to the Zonal Store in Minna, Niger State for preservation.
Furthermore, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Gov Yahaya Bello has constituted a committee to investigate the unfortunate incident and report within 7 days.
“The Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency has been brought to ground zero, Routine Immunization cannot be sustained without the cold chain. May God forbid any outbreak during this crisis’’
Dr Abubakar Yakubu