Niger women decry health workers hostility
The Eagle Online
August 31, 2016This article originally appeared in The Eagle Online and was written by Segun Adebowale
The women, who are largely mothers and pregnant residents, complained about the attitude of the health care staff on ground, which they said needed to be addressed
Women in Niger State have called on the state government to call health workers to order, adding that the non availability of health workers in the existing health facilities across the state need for urgent intervention.
The women, who are largely mothers and pregnant residents, complained about the attitude of the health care staff on ground, which they said needed to be addressed.
They said most healthcare facilities needed to be equipped to be able to take care of women. They said this on Wednesday during a town hall meeting organized by White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria in Chachanga and Wushishi local government areas of Niger State.
They called on the government to work towards recruiting more hands to meet the health needs of the people.
The participants, who lamented that they have no place to lay their health complaint, stated that they do not know about the Ward Health Development Committee set up by the government because the committee is either not active or non-existent.
One of the participants, Hajia Asmau Usman, said: “We do not go to the hospital anymore because the nurses are hostile and not encouraging. The Ward Health Development Committees are not active. They are there merely for political use. We are not even aware of health centres in our local government apart from the general hospital.”
Also, a Traditional Birth Attendant, Hajia Binta Abdullahi, said she is surprised to hear that there are committees taking care of health issues in the wards and local government, adding that most people are not aware of it as they (birth attendants) still receive pregnant women for delivery.
Abdullahi called on government to ensure that the birth attendants are carried along to enable them save more lives, especially as most women arrive to them in critical conditions.
The National Coordinator of The White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria, Tonte Ibraye, said they will work towards improving citizens engagement in policy making and service delivery in the health sector in the state.
Ibraye lamented that 28 per cent of pregnant women in the state do not consider it necessary to deliver in a health facility, adding that this had given rise to maternal mortality in the state.
Ibraye stressed on the need for government to remain accountable and deliver on the commitments in ensuring that the citizens, especially pregnant women, get decent and respectable health care.
The town hall meetings in Chachanga and Wushishi local government areas had in attendance about 300 people, out of which 97 per cent indicated that they are not aware of health policies, 86 per cent stating that the Ward Development Committee for Health is not functional, while 90 per cent indicated that there is no platform for accountability in the health sector.
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