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Hoodlums loot medical store, destroy equipment in Kogi

The Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Audu, said on Wednesday suspected hoodlums invaded the state’s Central Medical Store and vandalised medical equipment and consumables worth billions of naira.

Audu, who disclosed this at a press conference on Wednesday after he led a team from the ministry and the media to inspect the burgled medical store in Lokoja, said it would be very difficult for the state to recover from the incident.

According to him, the state lacked the capacity to recover what had been carted away or vandalised in a short period without adequate external intervention and support.

He said: “With a heavy heart I am obliged to make public a very sad development, the kind of which I have never witnessed in my whole life.

“The Kogi State Central Medical Store was burgled and equipment worth billions of naira were stolen.

”Those equipment that couldn’t be stolen like the walk-in refrigerator for immunisation, components of MRI/CT Scan machines were vandalised beyond repair while others were moved from the store and broken into pieces in nearby bushes.

“The situation is indeed worrisome and should be a cause for concern to all Kogites as it sets us back many paces in our efforts to provide quality healthcare to all.

“It is also beyond my comprehension as the items in our store bear no semblance to food items which could be of benefit to these heartless invaders. The impact of this dastardly act will linger for a long time.”

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The commissioner said the state was currently quantifying the extent of damage and would eventually make public the list of stolen items and cost implications.

He said the state had lost the entire content of the medical store, adding that office equipment and immunisation cards were not spared by the invaders.

Audu revealed that medical equipment such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography machines, Digital Mammography, Digital Radiography, consumables, drugs, office furniture, air conditioners, solar power unit, and fans, among others were either looted or vandalized by the hoodlums.

He added: “The implication of this is that the drug supply chain and the cold chain for routine immunisation will be disrupted. We will not be able to carry out routine immunisation for the good people of Kogi State.

“This is one of the saddest moments in my entire tenure as the commissioner for health as I keep picturing a gloomy and uncertain aftermath for the Kogi State health sector.

“I am heartbroken and we are at a loss on how to come out of this predicament.

“A store that successive administrations in the state and health development partners had invested billions of naira to equip was emptied in a matter of hours is heart wrecking.”

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