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Pregnant women in Bauchi decry high hospital bills

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Some women in Lere Town, Tafawa Balewa local government  Area of Bauchi State, on Friday decried exorbitant bills charged by officials of the Primary Health Centre.

The women made their complaints in Lere, at the official handing over of the centre upgraded by .

Mrs Paulina Augustine, 20, of Numrakumi Village said she paid a minimum of N400 on anti-natal service and N800 transport fare on first visit while subsequent ones attracted N200.

According to Augustine, in spite of the state government’s launch of free medical services for pregnant women and children under five years, they still pay for such services.

She called on the government to waive the medical charges to enable them to enjoy the service.

Mrs Ruth Matthew, 29, of Gums Giji Village also complained about payment for anti-natal services and payments for drugs.

Matthew said that the fees were discouraging women, especially those residing far from accessing and attending anti-natal care.

She called on the state government to ensure that pregnant women in the area enjoy the free medical service scheme introduced in 2019.

However, Executive Chairman, State Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA), Dr Rulwanu Mohammad, confirmed the story.

Mohammad explained that Tafawa Balewa Council was not covered by the free medical scheme being provided by the Nigeria State Health Investment Project (N-SHIP).

He said that the women must pay for the services since the facilities were not covered by N-Ship.

The chairman said that the government had evolved a programme where pregnant women, children under five years and physically challenged would receive free anti-natal, drugs and immunization.

He called on the women to be patient as such services would soon be provided for them to enjoy.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Donald Ugwu

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