By Suzan Edeh,  Bauchi
No fewer than 115 pregnant women and 65 infants lost their lives in Jama’re Local Government of Bauchi State due to birth-related complications between January and July this year.

A Senior Medical Officer with the Jama’re General Hospital, Musa Bala, made this known yesterday while speaking in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi.

Bala said the hospital recorded a high rate of maternal mortality due the withdrawal of free medical services for pregnant women and children under the age of five years by the state government

He said, “We stopped giving free medical services to pregnant women and children under the age of five in the month of March, because the state government withdrew the services.

’’We even stopped giving the bonus that came along with the free drugs, which normally encouraged them to attend antenatal.

’’As a result of the withdrawal, a lot of the pregnant women stopped attending their regular antenatal services as most of them preferred to give birth at home where some of the birth attendants who used to assist them to deliver were not experienced to handle birth complications. ‘’This is the reason why maternal mortality rate is increasing by the day.”

The Medical officer also lamented what he described as lack of adequate medical personnel at the hospital, saying that this has affected the level of performance by health officials as some of them cannot handle emergency cases efficiently.

“This General Hospital lacks adequate medical personnel to handle the number of patients that troop to the hospital on daily basis.

’’For instance, from Monday to Sunday, we usually have say 50-70 patients in a day, but attending to the health needs of all the patients is indeed, not only an enormous task but challenging.

‘’Presently, we have one medical doctor, 25 nurses and three midwives,” he said, even as he urged the state government to provide the hospital with modern medical equipment like ultra-scan machines and a standard laboratory, as well as organise more awareness campaigns for pregnant women in the local government among others.


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