Two communities across Kaduna River on Wednesday appealed to Kaduna State Government to establish Primary Health Centres in the area and construct a bridge to link them with the city.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the communities were Makwalla and Hayin Kogi-Mishigi in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
Some of the residents told NAN that establishing a health centre would reduce maternal and infant mortality rate in the two villages, while the link bridge would reduce the suffering of pregnant women crossing in canoes to access health care services.
According to them, they now depend on local drug vendors in the village or traditional herbs and birth attendants.
One of them, Malam Mohammadu Bashiru, the District Head of Makwalla, said that pregnant women were the worst hit by lack of health facilities in the area.
“There is no Primary Healthcare Centre in the communities across Kaduna River and our women face a lot of risks going outside the community to get medical attention.
“There is no bridge too linking our communities to the city, so, the communities here rely on a canoe as a means of transport to the city.
“Some women have lost their babies on the way to the health centres, while some have even delivered their babies in the canoes.
“I am appealing to the state government to establish Primary Healthcare Centres in the communities across Kaduna river.
A 30-year old resident of Makwalla, Mrs Zainab Abu, who gave birth to quadruplets in the village, said she had been giving birth to her children without going for any medical check-up or attending antenatal.
“I have been given birth to multiple numbers of twins in the village without going for any medical diagnosis or to see a doctor, and this time, l also delivered all the four kids at my husband house without assistance from anyone.
“I abandoned going for medical check-up for all the pregnancies all these years due to inadequate transport and medical facilities in the village.
“I have gone through serious pains, stress, and indeed it’s not really easy given birth to these four kids in a village without any support, but to God be the glory, l am fine.
“I always use traditional medicine and other drugs from local drugs vendors in the village whenever I feel pain in my body,” she said.
Abu said that she never attended any antenatal or medical diagnosis due to distance and lack of means to go to a hospital for counselling on child-birth spacing.
She said that she had given birth to twins multiple times, but that this was the first time she gave birth to quadruplets.
According to her, most women in the community will adopt child spacing if properly counseled.
Abu’s husband, Mallam Mohammadu Hassan, said he was very happy with the birth of the quadruplets and thanked God for their safe delivery.
Hassan said he was worried over the pains pregnant women in the communities faced due to lack of health facilities.
“Our women are facing great challenges due to distance as the primary health care facilities are located across Kaduna river.
” With the population of over 800 inhabitants, what we depend on in terms of accessing medical care, including for our women and children is from the local drug vendors and traditional herbs.
“I have 12 children but some have died. My wife has never gone for diagnosis or antenatal since we got married.
“My wife has been giving birth at home with assistance from traditional birth attendant,” he said.
Hassan said that the State Government should complete an abandoned hospital project in the community to reduce the number of people dying annually crossing the river.
Also, some women in Hayin Kogi-Mishigi community, said they are facing untold hardship due to absence of health facilities.
The women said that lack of medical facilities in the area had contributed to the death of many women and children, as they depended 100 per cent on canoes as means of transportation.
NAN reports that most of the villagers, including women, were farmers and fishermen.