With a population of 6 million, Borno State has just 200 doctors and seven pharmacists, according to Prof. Isah Marte, Chief of Staff to Prof Babagana Zulum, the state governor.
Marte disclosed this at the weekend when he led a delegation to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, in Abuja.
The delegation sought the federal government’s intervention in the state’s healthcare delivery system.
Prof Marte said over 35,000 people have been killed and two million displaced as a result of the Boko Haram crisis in the state.
He said the total cost of destruction in the state amounted to billions, adding that there was need for the federal government to support the state government in delivering healthcare to the suffering people of the state.
“Before the insurgency, various governments of Borno state had invested a lot in healthcare by building hospitals and primary healthcare centres in virtually all the wards. But as a result of insurgency, most of these things have been destroyed.
“The total cost of destruction in the North East is about 9 billion and Borno state took the lions share of 6 billion. So we really need assistance not only from development partners but also from the federal government.
“Just to recap some of the destructions especially in the health sector, 11 hospitals were completely burnt. One was partially burnt, 7 were vandalised, 185 primary healthcare centres were destroyed.
“So in the health sector, the total facility; hospital, primary healthcare centres destroyed as at 2015, was 248. But the government has done a lot. We have renovated or built almost half of those structures so far.
“Because of this insurgency, over 2 million people have been displaced and over 35, 000 people have lost their lives.
“In Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, we used to have a population of about 1 million. But now, we have close to 3 million people congested in Maiduguri. In Borno state, we have less than 200 doctors, with a population of 6 million. Recently, His Excellency recruited about 18. We are going to advertise to recruit 40 more.
“We have less than 1,000 nurses and recently, we recruited over 360 nurses. We have only 7 pharmacists and we are going to recruit 45 more. We have interviewed some and we are going to employ more,” he said.
Responding, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said, “We know where it hurts and I must say that our hearts go out to Borno. We do worry about what is going on there and how we can help; how we can put our heads together and see how we can alleviate the suffering of the people.”
Borno is the worst hit state in the violent campaign launched by the Boko Haram sect.