By Asma’u Ahmad
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Thursday says 200,000 Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Service Providers (CHIPSP) will be trained to tackle maternal and infant mortality across the states.
The Executive Director of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at the inaugural quarterly media interactive forum with journalists and civil society organisations in Abuja organised in collaboration with Community Health and Research Initiative (CHR).
Dr Shuaib said that the new plan was to raise the figure from initial 25,000 to 200,000 to urgently combat the rising cases of maternal and child mortality.
He explained that in each political ward, 20 women would be trained to carter for women and children in their immediate communities. According to him, such women will be given necessary training to provide first aid assistance to pregnant and sick women as well as children in rural areas before referring such to health centres.
The director said that it would be reviewed after the four years programme and those that showed good skills among the mobilisers would be supported for further training.
“We want to move away from a situation whereby unskilled workers will be assisting in delivery in communities,’’ he said.
Dr Shuaib however regretted the failure of the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) which he noted that most of the beneficiaries posted were reluctant to stay in villages, complaining that there are no basic amenities for them to work with. The executive director also disclosed that NPHCDA was trying to repackage and re-launch the MSS to serve communities better.
According to him, the agency would recommend a mandatory service for nurses and midwives graduating from school of nurses and midwifery to have one year service in rural areas. He gave an assurance that the agency would work with partners to reduce maternal and infant mortality to its lowest level