The Rivers State School of Nursing, which is 17 years old, is in dire need of rehabilitation and total turnaround. The health institution, which was carved out of the College of Health Technology in 2001, was established to train nurses. But it has been grossly neglected.
The entire structures in the institution, such as the administrative building, class- rooms and students’ hostels, are all worn out, with broken down facilities.
When our correspondent visited the institution, located at the Rumeme axis of Port Harcourt, the premises was in a pitiable state of disrepair. The road leading to the administrative building of the institution are bad and the students’ hostels are broken down and overtaken by weeds and floodwater. Hostel B of the institution has broken down completely, with damaged window panels. Some of the hostels do not have roofs while parts of the buildings are caving in. The hostels are in a terrible shape, with poor drainage system for both toilets and bathrooms.
A student, Lilian Obey, decried the dilapidated state of hostels and other buildings in the school. She said the students had been living in a very unhygienic condition, adding that most of the hostels do not have widow panels; hence they are exposed to mosquito and reptile attacks.
“We want the state government to come to our aid by carrying out total rehabilitation of the entire institution. We are facing a lot of challenges in this school. All the facilities are broken down. Some of the hostels have no window panels, thereby exposing us to mosquito bite and attacks by dangerous reptiles.
“The drainage system in the bathrooms and toilets are not functioning, and this makes it difficult to flush the toilets after use. Parts of the roof in the hostels are leaking and need urgent repairs. We want government to assist us and put this place in order,’’ she said.
Another student, Monica Jonathan, said the poor state of the hostel posed serious health challenge to the students. “This institution is very old and needs a turnaround maintenance. All the facilities are broken down. The toilets, bathrooms and all the facilities in the school are in a very poor state of disrepair. The entire environment is not conducive for learning. The classrooms are not enough to accommodate students and we are not happy about that,’’ she said.
Another student who pleaded anonymity also said, “Nobody can tell me that what we have here is an institution of learning. The entire premises is not good for serious academic works. A citadel of learning should be conducive for serious academic work, but what we have here is a motor park-like institution. It is not a good learning environment,’’ he said.
He called on the Rivers State Government to rehabilitate the school to meet up with international standard.
In 2016, the Rivers State Government said it would rehabilitate the school. Shortly after visiting the school, Governor Nyesom Wike directed that the institution be shut down to enable government carry out total rehabilitation. The governor blamed the management of the institution for ignoring basic sanitary standards. He said his administration was determined to rebuild the school so as to produce quality graduates in its area of focus.
“What I saw at the Rivers State School of Public Health and Nursing is quite disappointing. The environment of the school is unkempt and the buildings are in bad condition. We will revive and rehabilitate the school and bring it to the standard needed to train nurses,” the governor was quoted as saying during his visit to the school in 2016.
But two years after the governor’s visit, nothing has changed in the institution.
The school was carved out of the State College of Health Science and Technology in 2001 through a bill passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly and signed into law on August 17 of that year during the Peter Odili administration. The enabling law brought under one administrative umbrella, the schools of health technology, nursing, midwifery and public health.
The School of Health Technology was established in 1974 to train low and middle level manpower for the health sector. It existed as a unit under the Rivers State Ministry of Health and had six departments.
The School of Public Health was to offer courses in public health, nursing and community health, while the school of nursing was established to train nurses.
When our correspondent sought the view of the public relations officer of the institution, he was referred to the Ministry of Health.
When contacted, the press secretary in the Ministry of Health, Paul Bazia, said the state had called for tender for the total rehabilitation of the school. He said that work would commence in the institution as soon as the process of awarding the contract is concluded.
Source : Daily Trust