Niger: 72% women deliver babies at homes

By Ummi Ismaeel,

Minna

About 72 percent of women of child bearing age are exposed to deaths while giving birth in their homes as they could not access quality and affordable health deliver services in Niger State government facilities.

   Representative of the Niger State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NSPHCDA), Dr. Inuwa Jinaidu, disclosed this during a campaign and organizational strategy development workshop organised by the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria (WRAN) over the weekend.

   Out of 1,298,057 women of childbearing age in Niger State, most of them were exposed to infectious diseases during childbirth in their homes, Jinaidu said, adding that the trend has continued to increase due to their husbands’ inability to pay for their antenatal.

  According to the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) report, about 72.3 percent of women deliver in their homes, which Jimadu described as unacceptable especially as it exposed them to preventable complications and in most cases, eventual deaths.

  The NSPHCDA representative said, “Husbands needed to support their wives to reduce maternal mortality rate put at 352 deaths for every 100, 000 deliveries of the state’s total population put at 5, 900, 257”.

  Jinaidu however attributed the high cost of services at the healthcare facilities, unavailability of effective means of transportation at the over 3, 500 hard-to-reach communities to inadequate delivery wards and unfriendly attitudes of healthcare providers among others.

 Though there is shortage of staff, Jinadu said that the present administration was working towards revitalizing Primary Healthcare Under One Roof (PHCUOR) to ensure that sustainable measures were put in place to encourage women access quality and affordable health care facilities instead of patronizing unskilled hands and self-medications /attendants.

  Jimadu commended WRAN for its activities such as the advocacy drive for citizen, accountability, town hall meetings and community dialogue that led to the activation of the Ward Health Development Committees (WHDCs), building of their capacity, developing a reporting template and WHDC frame work for the state.

  The WRAN came into Niger state at a time when the state really needed help in the health sector, Jimadu said, adding that they were looking forward to the development of the strategy document which would serve as a guide for improved healthcare services for all citizens.

 The chairperson, WRAN, Dr. Nana Emmanuel Chidi, had encouraged citizens of Niger state to hold the state government accountable for poor quality healthcare delivery and also demand for quality and affordable healthcare services.

  He further assured that the WRAN remained passionate about ensuring that the rights of women and the girl-child in Niger state were uphold to ensure not only safe pregnancy but healthy reproductive life style.

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