The Utacchu Primary Health Centre – When Did It Get This Bad?


The Utacchu Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Kontagora Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State was built a number of years ago to accommodate the healthcare needs of the Utacchu community. Several years of neglect have led to everything at the PHC being broken or rundown. Community members and health workers alike have abandoned the facility.

The PHC officer, Muhammad Mamman, sat in the small, tight room where he and his colleagues were offering services. Mamman explained that they are using a room provided by a member of the community. They provide services from the room. That health facility does not function well. No client goes there, no woman gives birth there and no child is immunized there.

Due to the small size of the room, they are limited in the services they can offer. For example, they are unable to hold antenatal and immunization days in the room. As a result, they have to follow pregnant women and children in the community to their houses for immunisation, while most women in labor must be transported to other communities with health facilities to deliver.

Daudu Garba Ahmed, the community leader, says the situation is affecting the community. Due to the condition of the PHC, healthcare services are no longer readily available to community members.

He further added that, it’s bad enough that they must transport a woman in labour to another community, but the cost of transport makes it unfeasible, as it is obviously more expensive and a lot riskier than giving birth at a nearby facility.

Neglected and poorly maintained PHCs appear to be a common occurrence in most rural communities. This is unacceptable as nobody should be forced to either access healthcare or provide healthcare services in unpleasant conditions. There is no dignity there.

The Utacchu Community members are asking both the Kontagora LGA and the Niger State government to urgently rehabilitate and reconstruct Utacchu PHC, provide the facility with basic and essential medication, provide a new delivery couch, beds, and chairs in addition to basic diagnostic equipment.