Despite N3.8bn budget, Aso Rock hit with drug scarcity


Despite the N3.87bn allocated to it in the 2016 Appropriation Act, lack of drugs and other essential medical items have crippled operations at the State House Medical Centre, The PUNCH has learnt.

The centre provides medical services to the President, Vice-President and their families, aides, members of staff of the State House and other entitled public servants.

It is also a training facility for house officers and other medical personnel.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that the centre located in Asokoro, a highbrow area of the Federal Capital Territory, is gradually becoming a shadow of its old self.

A cross-section of the centre’s patients told The PUNCH that patients were now being asked to go and buy drugs from outside as they were no longer available in the centre.

Most hit, it was further learnt, are patients with kidney problems who are currently undergoing dialysis in the facility.

Although, some of them are expected to be undergoing the dialysis at least twice a week, the centre’s management has been cancelling such exercise lately, therefore putting the lives of the patients at risk.

In some instances when they attend to them, the patients are made to come with some of the items the doctors will use for the exercise.

Our correspondent learnt that the centre’s management had resorted to sending text messages to patients on items they should bring for their treatment.

In one of such messages sent to a patient which is inThe PUNCH’s possession, the management wrote, “Mr. XXX (names withheld), when u (sic) are coming for dialysis on Monday, buy IVF Normal Saline to be used for ur (sic) dialysis. The office doesn’t  have it. Buy like four pieces.”

Normal Saline IVF solution is used in the treatment, control, prevention and improvement of conditions such as low sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium levels as well as blood and fluid loss.

It improves the patients’ condition by maintaining proper fluid balance and keeping the tissues hydrated.

Another patient who spoke with our correspondent said he had a crisis recently because the centre cancelled his routine dialysis.

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