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Persons identified as hoodlums have invaded the Kogi Central Medical Store, looted and vandalized medical equipment and consumables.
The stolen and vandalized items are worth billions of Naira, the Kogi State government confirmed.
The State Commissioner for Health Dr. Saka Audu disclosed this at a press conference on Wednesday after he led a team from the ministry and the media to inspect the extent of damage in the burgled medical store located along Zone 8, Lokoja.
Audu condemned in strong terms the unruly behavior of the residents saying it would be very difficult for the state to recover from it.
He noted that it will take the state government time to be able to recover from this since it did not have the capacity to recover what had been carted away or vandalized in a short period without adequate external intervention and support.
In his words: ”With a heavy heart, I am obliged to make public a very sad development, the kind of which I have never witnessed in my whole life.
”The Kogi State Central Medical Store was burgled and equipment worth billions of naira were stolen. ”Those equipment that couldn’t be stolen like the walk-in refrigerator for immunization, components of MRI/CT Scan machines were vandalized beyond repair, while others were moved from the store and broken into pieces in nearby bushes.
”The situation is indeed worrisome and should be a cause for concern to all Kogites as it sets us back many paces in our efforts to provide quality healthcare to all. ”It is also beyond my comprehension as the items in our store bear no semblance to food items which could be of benefit to these heartless invaders. The impact of this dastardly act will linger for a long time,” he said
Speaking further, Dr. Audu said medical equipment such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Computed Tomography machines, Digital Mammography, Digital Radiography, consumables, drugs, office furniture, air conditioners, solar power unit, fans, among others were either looted or vandalized.
”The implication of this is that the Drug Supply Chain and cold chain for routine immunization will be disrupted; we will not be able to carry out routine immunization for the good people of Kogi State.
”This is one of the saddest moments in my entire tenure as the commissioner for health, as I keep picturing gloomy and uncertain aftermath for the Kogi State Health Sector.
”I am heartbroken and we are at a loss on how to come out of this predicament. ”A store that successive State Government Administrations and Health Development Partners have invested billions of naira to equip was emptied in a matter of hours is heart wrecking,”
Also speaking, Dr. Abubakar Yakubu, the Executive Director, Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA), said that 20 tonnes capacity Cold Room recently built for vaccines by the agency was completely vandalized.
He said that the cold room which was fully sponsored by the state government to be commissioned soon was destroyed and that its 100KVA inverter and 36 solar batteries carted away.
The State Commissioner for Health said that the state was currently quantifying the extent of damage and would eventually make public the list of stolen items and cost implications, he also sued for external intervention from donors and other bodies.