The Kaduna State Ministry of Health has expressed concern over poor attendance of antenatal clinics by pregnant women in the state.
The Director of Planning and Research, Reproductive, Maternal Newborn and Child Health (RMNCAH), Dr Sunday Joseph, expressed the government’s concern during a town hall meeting in Kaduna on Thursday.
The town hall meeting was organised by the Open Government Partnership on Health for four Local Government Areas of the state.
Joseph also said that the rate of child delivery in health facilities was poor, as many women prefer to have their babies at home.
He added that, “Even when some pregnant women attend antenatal clinics, only few go back to health facilities for delivery.”
He, therefore, urged pregnant women to desist from home deliveries, adding that it could lead to complications which could result to death of the infant or the mother.
He said data from four Local Government Areas of — Kajuru, Chikun, Soba and Kubau showed poor attendance of antenatal visit and birth deliveries from women.
He added that, “From the second quarter data in kajuru, antenatal visit was 19 per cent and skilled birth deliveries is 44 per cent, while in Kubau, antenatal visit was 39 per cent and skilled birth deliveries was 44 per cent, and post natal visit, 25 per cent.
“In Chikun, antenatal visit, 20 per cent, while skilled birth deliveries; 29 per cent and Soba, 29 per cent of child deliveries and 33 per cent of antenatal attendance.”
He urged stakeholders to educate women on the importance of attending antenatal and deliveries to avoid complications.
He also encouraged women to embrace child spacing for a healthier mother and child. In another contribution during the townhall meeting, Mr Jonathan Joseph of the state’s contributory health scheme (KADCHMA), advised residents to key into the scheme to improve their health status.
He said the scheme is a way of contributing funds for the payment of healthcare services by all residents of the state.
“The scheme will cover for healthcare services rendered to beneficiaries at their selected facilities.
“Individual premium for health insurance at the agency costs N10,650 annually, while the family premium costs N57,000 annually,” he said.
Mrs Jane Obiora, the Co-Chairperson of Open Government Partnership on Health and Education, said residents should participate in government activities, take ownership and monitor government projects.
Mrs Hadiza Jafar, who spoke on behalf of women, attributed their challenges to bad roads, the lack of health personnel and insecurity.
She said, “With the present insecurity around, women cannot go to health facilities at night.
“Some of us have bad roads and we cannot travel because some of our bridges are broken and even if we try to go at night, there are no health workers in the facilities mostly at night.
“We appeal government to get more health personnel or health posts to improve the wellbeing of women.”