No fewer than 90 pregnant women have benefited from the distribution of birthing kits and Vitamin A drugs for the reduction of maternal and child mortality in Alheri Lepers Colony in the FCT.
The intervention, which is carried out by the Goldenhange for Concerned Youth Forum, an NGO, is to forestall increasing rate of preventable deaths and diseases among vulnerable women and children in the community
The NGO’s National President, Mr Williams Ngwakwe, expressed worry over poor access to adequate basic facilities, noting that it was a matter for regret that the community was susceptible to disease outbreak.
According to him, reports from the health centre in the community shows that a large number of pregnant women prefer to birth their babies through the help of Traditional Birth Attendants owing to their inability to access birthing kits.
He said the intervention would also include distribution of de-worming drugs for children between the age of six months and five years to halt spread of stunting and malnutrition.
Ngwakwe said his organisation saw the need to intervene as the neonatal period was the most vulnerable for a child.
Quoting a 2015 UNICEF Report, he said the burden of neonatal mortality in Nigeria was higher than African region as a whole, adding that every daily, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year old and 145 women of childbearing age.
“Each of these deaths is a tragedy because majorities are preventable. In Nigeria, in spite of efforts to increase deliveries attended by skilled provider, fewer than 36 per cent are reached with such care, traditional births attendants (TBAs) account for 30 per cent of total births in FCT.
“Most of the population faces significant geographic barriers to care, and a large proportion of newborns are exposed to poor hygiene over their first few days of life leading to death.’’
He said that one of the strategic goals of the organisation targets the Sustainable Development Goal Three (SDGs) of ensuring good health and well-being for all, hence the implementing of the Health Impactful Project for Women and children (HIPAC) programme.
Mr Abubakar Dangaga, a worker at Alheri Special Resettlement Clinic Yangoji, expressed delight with the intervention, saying there was no longer need to rely solely on government.
“Prior to this donation, we usually prescribe drugs for those who need them to buy in the town, traditional birth attendants carry out childbirth, we appreciate your effort, and we ask for more frequent donations.”
He assured them that in spite of the competing need of patients at the hospital, the clinic would ensure that quality health service delivery would be rendered to patients.
Mr Lawali Muhammad, the Secretary, Lepers Association in the FCT, also commended the organisation for the distribution of delivery kits for women in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
He prayed God to heal the country and that Nigeria would prevail over the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
NAN reports that every year, approximately 4.5 million infants and over 303,000 women die due to childbirth, the majority in developing countries. One major cause is infection due to birthing conditions and lack of access to clean supplies.
“These women and babies can be saved by providing simple items like a clean razor blade and string to tie off the umbilical cord.’’
Edited Grace Yussuf
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