By Philip Yatai
Ninte – A healthcare worker, Mrs Briskila Myela, said on Tuesday that pregnant mothers at Ninte community, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, give birth in their homes due to absence of a health centre.
Myela disclosed this at Ninte while interacting with officials of an NGO, Connected Development (CODE), and a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
She explained that since she was posted to the community in March, she had been receiving delivery of babies in the homes of pregnant mothers.
She added that so far, no fewer than 14 women have delivered at home under her supervision in the past seven months.
“When I arrived in March, the primary Health Centre in the community was in bad shape and un-habitable because renovation work on the facility has not been completed.
“There were no drugs, no equipment, no nothing. Not even a bucket. The few implements I am using are my personal stuff.
“One of the community members donated one of his rooms for me to use in attending to sick ones and because it is someone’s house, I cannot allow a pregnant woman to deliver there.
“This is because it is culturally and traditionally wrong to stain someone’s house with another person blood.
“Therefore, the only option for me was to visit the pregnant women in their houses whenever they are due for delivery.
“Although this is highly risky as a delivery could come with complications that could risk losing the mothers and their babies, but there is no other option,” Myela said.
The health officer added that the owner of the house had recently demanded the return of the room she is using to attend to patients to enable him store his harvests from the farms.
She said that she had complained to her supervisor at the local government headquarters who sent five beds and mattresses.
“But no work has been carried out in the facility since I arrived seven months ago; not all the doors and windows were fixed, the staff quarters is still not completed,” she complained.
She appealed to Jema’a council and the Kaduna State Government to fix the facility to enable her provide needed health services to the community.
Mrs Sabiu Danjuma, a mother of two and a resident of the community, described the development as unfortunate for the people of Ninte.
According to her, some of the residents are forced to travel to Godogodo, about 37 kilometres away, to access health services.
“The government should please come to our rescue and complete the renovation of the Ninte PHC to end out suffering,” she appealed.
The community’s Youth Leader, Mr Adamu Habu, said that Jema’a local government council had deployed two health workers, a community health extension worker and one from N-Power while renovation of the PHC was not completed.
Habu added that the facility was already deteriorating, with some of the installed windows falling off and the paint completely washed out by rain.
“The staff quarters is not completed, electrical work in the facility was not done, some doors were not installed and no water facility in the health centre. In fact, the facility has been taken over by reptiles,” he said.
NAN recalls that the health facility was burnt in May 2016 during an attack on the community by gunmen that left seven people death and several persons injured.
The Jema’a council in December 2017 awarded the contract for the renovation of the centre to Seramon-T Concept Ltd., with completion date of Feb. 9, 2018.
But the community during a town hall meeting organised by CODE rejected the renovated PHC because of what they described as “a shoddy job”.
The Village Head of the community, Mr Hassan Jatau, had alleged that the renovated centre was of low standard befitting a healthcare centre.
In swift reaction, Mr Mike Paulinus, the contractor handling the renovation of the facility, said the job was executed as specified in the Bill of Quantity.
Alhaji Mu’azu Usman, the then caretaker committee chairman of the council, acknowledged some anomalies in the execution of the projects and suspended the renovation work.