The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, passed a resolution that 24-hour medical clinics be established at National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camps across the country.
The resolution followed a motion by Rep. Isiaka Ibrahim (Ogun-APC), on the need for the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to establish clinics that would provide medical services for corps members.
The lawmakers also resolved that the clinics, which must be in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), must have a standby ambulance in each.
Moving the motion at the plenary in Abuja, Ibrahim expressed concern that the medical clinics available in the camps often lacked adequate medication and medical personnel to provide treatment for graduates serving the fatherland.
According to him, a majority of the medical doctors, who are administering such NYSC orientation camp clinics are themselves recent graduates of Medicine and Nursing, who are undergoing the NYSC programme.
The legislator noted that on Nov. 29, 2016, a female corps member was reported to have died at the Kano State NYSC Orientation Camp due to lack of medication and medical personnel to give her proper medical care.
“The house also notes that recently, another female corps member died in the NYSC orientation camp in Kwara State because the camp medical clinic was unable to treat her after she sustained a fracture from a fall within the camp,” he said.
He said:“out of the $194m reportedly allocated and disbursed by the Federal Government for the upkeep of each batch of corps members, the authorities and government officials that are responsible for the administration of the NYSC programme in the orientation camps expend most of the said sum on payment of corps members’ logistics.
“The house is aware that most of the NYSC officials are not trained medical professionals nor does the scheme have an adequate budgetary allocation to purchase medical equipment or hire qualified and experienced medical professionals, who would be willing to reside in the remote villages and local government areas where most of the orientation camps are located”.
The house, however, observed that Section 3 (b) (i) of the NPHCDA Act made it a duty of the agency to provide primary health care within local government areas where NYSC orientation camps are located.
It also said that it was convinced that the NPHCDA is the relevant agency to provide adequate health and medical care in NYSC orientation camps.
The house, therefore, mandated the Committees on Health Care Services and Youth Development to liaise with NPHCDA and the Director-General of the NYSC, to provide a database and medical needs assessment of all NYSC orientation camps across Nigeria.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, directed the relevant committees to submit their joint report within four weeks for further legislative action.