Patients and caregivers at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) have described the recent electricity blackout in the hospital as very pathetic as the problem lingers.
Despite generating millions of Naira in revenue, the situation in the hospital, according to some patients, has made health service provision very difficult in the last few days due to the lack of electricity in the hospital.
Daily Trust reports that aside from being a revenue-generating institution, the hospital also gets several billions of Naira from yearly budgets. For instance, in the 2021 approved estimates, the hospital budgeted N94,477,994 for electricity charges and N15,000,000 for plant/generator fuel costs. It also budgeted N20,045,756 for the construction/provision of electricity, the same amount budgeted for the provision of solar power for the hospital.
Muhammad Adam, whose relative has been on admission at the male ward in the last 14 days, said lack of electricity experienced in the hospital has gone from bad to worst.
He explained that initially, the hospital management adopted load shedding technique to some wards in order to allow patients and other caregivers to relatively have a share of the electricity being shared.
He added that it was unfortunate that in recent days most wards in the hospital stay for hours without a power supply.
“It is common to see people with hand fans fanning their sick relatives on admission. The situation is very disheartening taking into consideration the hot weather in Kano now.
“Initially at the male ward, the electricity supply had been reverted to load shedding. However, in the last few days, the ward experienced a very poor supply of light,” Adam said.
Malam Bashir Mohammed, who took his sick daughter to the hospital on Saturday, told Daily Trust that the epileptic power supply also affected the pediatric section, where his daughter was admitted.
He said beyond the wards, the administrative section, which has the pay points, was also affected causing long queues at the point of payment.
Malam Mohammed said at one point, staff of the hospital had to move outside their offices as the place was dark, hot, and stuffy.
Another client of the hospital, Malam Sulaiman Baba, told Daily Trust that it is unfortunate that though AKTH had been the premier referral hospital for Northern Nigeria, serving a catchment population of millions of people from Kano and other neighbouring states, such unwarranted shortcomings are being experienced.
According to him, this has negatively affected the hospital’s credibility in the eyes of those patronising it.
“Had I a better option, I would have transferred my patient to a better hospital because what we are experiencing lately has negatively affected the hospital’s credibility,” he said.
A staff of the hospital, who asked not to be named, said lack of electricity has distorted all hospital activities including its stated mission.
“To be honest, such an experience has never been witnessed here before. Every section of the hospital is now negatively affected; even the hospital’s mission of ‘Providing excellent service, research and training using professional knowledge and appropriate technology, through a dedicated and team-oriented workforce that is fully committed to judicious, effective and efficient, utilization of the available resources to treat patients with utmost care and encourage community participation.
“It is apparent that something has to be done quickly to come to the aid of patients and caregivers in the hospital,” he said.
Another staff, who also asked not to be named, said what the hospital management is now doing is to identify the priority areas like the incubator section and theatre and make sure that they do not lack electricity at any point, adding that several consumables have since gone bad because of epileptic power supply to the hospital.
When contacted, the hospital spokesperson, Hajiya Hauwa Muhammed Abdullahi, revealed that the hospital has been facing a serious challenge regarding electricity supply.
She said the hospital is experiencing poor supply from Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO).
Hajiya Hauwa added that though the hospital has various electricity-generating machines of various capacities, the only generator that has the capacity to supply the whole hospital has unfortunately developed a fault.
She however, explained that the hospital is currently doing its best to see that the faulty generator is fixed.
“It is sad that the hospital community is experiencing this poor electricity, the management equally loses a lot in terms of consumables that require constant refrigerating and other operational activities that require electricity. At the moment, we have centred our concern on areas that seriously require electricity,” she said.
She also revealed that the hospital management, led by the CMD, has made efforts to have an audience with KEDCO officials but their efforts have not been successful.
The Head, Corporate Communications of KEDCO, Ibrahim Sani Shawai, promised to find out about the situation and get back to Daily Trust when contacted but did not up till press time.