The fate of hundreds of TB and HIV/AIDS patients hangs in the balance after a district official in Shibis District allegedly ordered the demolition of a government medical facility offering life-saving medical help.
The Director of the medical centre Dr. Abdirizak Yusuf Ahmed told Goobjoog News a caterpillar tractor arrived at the facility on Thursday and brought down a section of the facility ‘under instructions from Shibis District Commissioner’.
The medical officer said there was no warning regarding any impending destruction of the facility adding even so, the building is a government house.
“We treat Tuberculosis (TB) patients and administer Anti-Retroviral (ARV) tablets to people infected with HIV and AIDS,” said Dr. Ahmed. “But on Thursday the building was demolished by a truck without any information from the Ministry of Health.”
Shibis District Commissioner Safiyo Sheikh Ali told Goobjoog News she could not comment on the matter. “I am busy and I have no comment.”
According to Dr. Ahmed, the facility has been operating for 12 years now offering life saving treatment of TB patients and ARVs for hundreds of people infected with HIV/AIDS. “We started TB treatment in 2008 and HIV/AIDS drugs distribution in 2008. The facility has very good TB treatment machines and HIV testing kits.”
At the moment, the medical official said, there are 290 TB patients receiving treatment from the facility and over 200 people on HIV/AIDS drugs.
“The medicine and staff bills are catered for by aid agencies while the government provides the building,” Dr. Ahmed added. “It is very unfortunate that this building owned by the government has now been taken by force.”
Dr. Ahmed noted that he is now concerned about the fate of his patients who have now missed the services for two days.