THE TUBERCULOSIS (TB) CENTER RESTORATION PROJECT IN OBUDU, NIGERIA
The TB Unit was established by the Catholic Missionaries in 1956 as an addition to the Leprosy unit.
The program was first started as a monthly treatment for TB and was later converted it into a rehabilitation center due increasing cases of the disease in the community. The center soon saw an escalated number of patients because this is the unit of this sort in Northern Cross River State and surrounding states. The covrage area included surrounding Local Government Area of Obanliku, Boki and Bekwarra. Patients also came as far as Kwande and Vandeikya Local Government Areas of Benue State and even Akwaya in Cameroun.
The effective treatment of patients at this center greatly reduced the number of new cases of TB reported. The number of new cases dropped significantly from about 70 new cases between 1970 and the 1990s. Today the center cater to about 20-30 patient per month.
Problems / Challenges facing the TB Unit
Despite of the success of this TB center, the center is facing some basic challenges that include: lack of electric power, clean portable water, access road, housing, security and basic medical facilities.
Electricity – From its inception until date, the colony has not been connected to the National Grid and we are still subjected to the use of kerosene lanterns as the source of light in the 21st century. Most interestingly is the age of the lanterns that have been there for decades. Most times patients are asked to come with lanterns or candles to assist.
Water – The unit due to the peculiarity of its location has no link to pipe borne water. The only water supply is a well that was sunk in 1959 and is in need of repairs.
Access road – The TB unit is isolated from the city center because of the nature of the disease. Against that background, there was no access road to the colony. Most time when in emergency there is no way to get this sick patients to a higher level of care.
Medical facilities – Most of the equipment in use are as old and have been there since the colony was established 59 years ago. The unit lack good beds, mattresses, chairs, tables etc. Other items that are obsolete include pillows, bed sheets, blankets and mackintosh. The unit is in a state of disrepair and has been derelict for a very long time. There has been no renovation to the building.
Housing – The buildings are a sorrowful sight because of lack of renovation. Both VIP and pit toilets that previously serviced the unit have all collapsed and patients use nearby bushes for their conveniences.