One of our FollowTheMoney investigative journalists, Emmanuel Ujiadughele, was awarded the Best Reporter by the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Osun State, for uncovering the rot in the State’s Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) after Follow The Money investigated the condition of Nigerian PHCs to combat the #COVID19 virus and Government’s level of responsiveness to healthcare services during the pandemic.
In Osun State, the Follow The Money team observed that six primary healthcare centres were in terrible conditions, revealing that 2 of the 6 Primary Health Centres could not access electricity. Medical practitioners were subjected to the use of candles and torches to provide illumination. Surprisingly, these two primary healthcares were revitalized by the Osun State Government through the Save One million Lives Project funded by the World Health Organisation.
Primary Health Centres are supposed to provide basic quality healthcare service to average citizens. In Nigeria, many are in deplorable states and often unable to provide basic medical care to community members. Poor facilities, inadequate staffing and outdated drugs have led to careless and needless loss of lives. Highly suspicious patients have had to travel long distances to the city for proper medical attention.
Concerned by the condition of the PHCs, Follow The Money and BudgIT set out to track the state of Primary Health Centres in fifteen states – Cross River, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Abia, Anambra, Imo, Ebonyi, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kebbi and Osun.
FTM investigative journalist, Emmanuel Ujiadughele, sighted the document containing the anomalies of the tracked PHCs and immediately showed interest in investigating the state of these healthcare facilities. Emmanuel visited the centres as an undercover journalist and witnessed how these healthcare centres, even though revitalized, delivered babies using torch torches and candles because they could not access electricity. Health workers in many PHCs either depend on rainwater because there is no power to pump water from the borehole or search for water in the wells in the community.
Emmanuel Ujiadughele – a reporter of Rave 91.7FM in Osun published an exclusive report on the rising menace. The state government initially denied the possibility of the injustices detailed in the report, however, glaring evidence on the deplorable state of Atiba and Okinni Primary Health Centres, staff shortage and how the health centres were cut off the national grid, circulated the news. Following this exposure, brand new power generators were supplied to the Atiba and Okinni Primary Health Centres, a few weeks later.
On the occasion of the 2021 Osun Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Week, Emmanuel Ujiadughele received the award of the Best Reporter as a result of his special report on the state of the Primary Health Centres in Osun State.
The award winning journalist thanked the Connected Development (CODE) and Urban Alert for their relentless efforts to bring change to our society. “I look forward to more collaborations that will put pressure on the government and its agencies to fulfill their promises”, Emmanuel said.