By Isaac Ukpoju
Lafia – Nasarawa State government has shut down 109 health facilities found to be operating illegally across the 13 local government areas of the state.
Dr Haruna Ekom, Director of Clinical Service in the state Ministry of Health, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Lafia.
According to him, 89 of the facilities were shut down in Karu local government area alone, with 20 others located across the other 12 local government areas.
Ekom said that most of the facilities were operating without the necessary approval from the state government, while others defaulted in reviewing their operation licence.
He said that the government’s action was based on information gathered from the various locations as well as on-the-spot assessment by the inspectorate team from the ministry.
“The essence is to ensure that health facilities operate according to standard by checking unwholesome practices and activities of quacks in the sector, thereby safeguarding the lives of the people.
” We always get reports of illegal health facilities, personnel operating beyond the scope of their training leading to complication and deaths,” Ekom said.
He said that the ministry would not relent in sanitising the sector by ensuring strict adherence to standards in line with global best practice.
Ekom warned illegal operators and those practising beyond their scope of training to desist as the law would catch up with them.
He also cautioned members of the public against patronising such facilities in order not to put their lives at risk, urging them to report any suspicious, unwholesome activity in their locality to relevant authorities for prompt action.
The director, however, cited lack of funds as one of the factors hampering the regular inspection exercise by the ministry.
Ekom appealed to the state government to release funds to enable the inspectorate team embark on the exercise quarterly, in line with its mandate.