Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the closure of the state owned Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital located at Unguwan Rogo area of Sokoto town.
Health professionals have voiced concern over the substandard facilities at the hospital, and have urged the government to intervene for the benefit of the populace.
A visit to the hospital showed that apart from lack of basic health facilities, the integrity of the buildings cannot be guaranteed due to cracks on the walls and roofs blown off by wind.
Information available indicated that all patients have been moved to other public hospitals in the state capital, while feasibility study has commenced on how to upgrade the facilities and reopen as soon as possible.
The governor's spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, confirmed to reporters that once the upgrade is completed, it will be converted into a renal and cardiac centre whose establishment was earlier announced by the state government.
"Yes I can confirm that the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital will be upgraded. The new facility will host the proposed cardiac and renal centre while the Amanawa Leprosareum will be converted to an Infectious Diseases Hospital," Imam said.
Meanwhile, Sokoto state government said it has expended about N50m to provide free drugs to indigent patients in hospitals and pharmaceuticals stores across the state.
The funds, released between January and May this year, were expended through the state Zakat and Endowment Committee, an agency under the state Ministry of Religious Affairs.
"We deposit the funds in selected hospitals and pharmacies to provide drugs to all those who cannot afford to buy. It is one of the social intervention programmes of the government and so far, it has proven to be hugely successful," chairman of the state Zakat and Endowment Committee, Malam Lawal Maidoki, said.