More pregnant women in Sokoto shun hospitals




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Hafsat Marnoma, from Manona village in Wurno local government area State, was married off at the tender age 14 some 30 years ago. She has had five children over the years, but none them was delivered in a hospital or primary health facility, though these are readily available. Hasfat is just one thousands of womenin the state who would gladly stay away from a standard health facility when pangs begin, and instead look for help from Traditional Attendants (TBAs), and there a surfeit them. A United States Agency for International Development (USAID) report released recently indicatesthat about 95 percent pregnant in deliver their babies at home. The deputy chief of party, Target Stated Impact (TSHIP) of the USAID in , Dr. Abubakar Maishanu, gave these chilling details at a meeting of ‘communities of practice’ forum maternal and child health under the National Demographic Health Survey 2013, recently. He said only 4.7percent of in the state give in a health facility a situation he observed has worsened the incidence of maternal deaths in the state, adding that the likelihood of receiving assistance from skilled provider during delivery was . Maishanu noted that only 17 percent of mothers received ante-natal care from a skilled provider. Some expectant mothers who spoke with Weekly Trust said they shun hospitals due religious, cultural and economic reasons, among other factors. They explained that forbids a man from seeing the nakedness of a married woman except he is her husband, so they cannot allow any man come close them especially during , when they are more exposed. “It is a taboo for a woman allow male medical personnel to deliver her baby with so much body contact to undergo during ,” Hafsat Amadu said, adding that the TBA in the village is qualified and that the feel safer in her hands during delivery. The , whose ages range between 20 and 45, stressed that it was only that cannot be handled by TBAs that warrant them going to the hospital. They also cited the difference in the positions in which expected mothers are expected to assume during at home and in the hospital, as another discouraging factor. Women stay in a squatting position at home, but in the hospital they lie backwards and spread their legs.

[eap_ad_1] “This does not go down well with ,” Hafsat said. Weekly Trust learnt that the situation is so bad that when any woman develops complication during childbirth and is taken the hospital, she is ridiculed by her peers as someone whose body has been exposed hospital staff, who are not her husband. The dearth of female medical personnel is largely blame for this, the women, who spoke in parts of Sokoto, including Manona, Ruggar Giwa, Gidan  Bahure, Assada, Gadu and Runjin Ragga areas, said. There is also the cultural aspect. Young women are usually sent to their mothers for their first delivery so they can get adequate care; because during labour, the parents would get an experienced attendant to handle the delivery at home. But other women like Mallama Aisha complained about the attitude of hospital staff, saying many expectant mothers risk their lives by not going to a health facility to avoid what they consider as the staff’s debasing bahaviour. Rather than sympathise with women in labour, many health workers tend to ridicule,disparage or mock even those who arrive in critical condition. “They display all sorts of unprofessional attitudes to pregnant women which negatively impacts our perception of hospitals,” Aisha told Weekly Trust. But the nation’s bad economy could also be a key deterrent to most would-be mothers patronising hospitals. Investigations showed that husbands and their pregnant wives shun hospitals during delivery because of certain demands made them. This range from what they termed unnecessary prescriptions; bribing hospital staff for proper care and expenses attached to the care of both new-born and mothe. “The hospital today is beyond the reach of the common man, especially when there is need for admission.Some of , out of concern for our husbands, endure so much and remain at home rather than expose their meagre income to outsiders, which may attract shame,” Halima Aliyu, a mother of seven, told Weekly Trust. However, stressing the need for women to ensure they deliver in health , TSHIP deputy chief of party, Dr. Maishanu said that: “Delivery is a natural phenomenon but one thing you cannot predict is complication; that is why it is recommended to do simple preventive activity, going for ante-natal.” He also stressed the need for adequate manpower at the state’s health .Though he acknowledged that there are health across the state, Maishanu said: “It is not good enough to build hospitals, you have to have the minimum requirement of workforce.” For instance, he asked: “Do we have the minimum requirement of four midwives to work 24/7 in all general hospitals /local government areas? How many clinics/centres have the minimum of two community health extension workers?” Maishanu stressed the need to train health administrators, begin community midwifery training,pool resources to strengthen referral centres and ensure unconditional recruitment of needed staff and adapt the Community Based Health Volunteers (CBHVs) programme among others. Sokoto absorbed itself of blame, saying it has well-equipped facilities, including specialists and general hospitals and 230 primary health centres among others and that it has continued to give priority attention to the health sector. Director, primary health care (PHC) in the ministry for local government and community development, Dr. Junaidu Mohammed, who expressed concern over the USAID report,stressed that the state was doing its best to deliver healthcare the people. Similarly, special adviser the governor primary healthcare, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril, noted that it was a demonstration of the government’s commitment ensuring health care delivery in the state was taken to the doorsteps of the people that the state recently procured 230 ambulances for its primary health centres. ()