The state commissioner of Health, Haruna Mshellia, has revealed that Boko Haram insurgent has destroyed 248 primary health care centres and 19 general hospitals in Borno State.
Mr. Mshellia, who revealed this during Borno NUJ Press Week, said many health workers in the state were killed while several others left.
According to him, “Many of our health workers were targets of the Boko Haram insurgents and innocent workers were killed in cold blood”.
The state has 48 general hospitals of which most are in the areas recently liberated by the military.
Boko Haram in 2014 seized about 21 local government areas of the state and held unto them for nearly two years. During the occupation, the insurgents destroyed virtually public service facilities like hospitals.
According to the commissioner, the state government in 2016 began reconstruction of most of the health facilities in the state. The government has so far invested N4.5 billion on procurement of hospital equipment and medical consumables.
He said hospitals especially in major local government headquarters are being upgraded, while six new general hospitals are also being built in Borgu, Baga, Gajiram, Kukawa, Gongulon and Maimusari villages.
One of the new hospitals is the 250-bed Women and Children Hospital where all medical services, including breast cancer screenings, are carried out free of charge.
He said a brand new paediatric complex comprising four main wards is being built at Maiduguri Specialist Hospital as well as in Biu Benusheik and Dikwa towns.
The state government currently has 126 medical doctors on its payroll, while 45 other doctors currently serving as national youth corps members are also engaged in the state.
The commissioner also confirmed that the state ministry of Health lost two trucks containing medical supplies meant for Damboa, and Askira-Uba local government areas, on the recent ambush of medical supplies by insurgents along Damboa -Maiduguri highway.
He however dismissed the speculations that the assorted drugs and other related medical supplies they seized were enough to last the insurgents’ medical needs for a whole year.