By Mary Jalingo
The high rate of maternal and infant mortality in Niger State has been attributed to the over 72 percent of women of reproductive age who prefer to deliver at home instead of a health facility.
He said according to the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) report, about 72.3 percent of women deliver at home which he noted was unacceptable especially as it exposes them to preventable complications and death.
Junaidu however noted that high cost of services at the healthcare facilities, unavailability of effective means of transportation at the over 3,000 hard to reach areas, inadequate delivery wards and unfriendly attitude of health care providers among others have discourage women from going to the hospital to access quality services.
He noted that even though there is a problem of shortage of manpower in the health sector, the present adminstration was working tirelessly in the area of the revitalization of primary healthcare under one roof in ensuring that sustainable measures were put in place to encourage women to access quality and affordable care at health facilities instead of patronising unskilled hands.
He commended WRAN for its activities in the state such as its advocacy drive for citizen led accountability, town hall meetings and community dialogue that led to the activation of the Ward Health Development Committees (WHDCs) in the state, building of their capacity, developing a reporting template and WHDC frame work for the state.
He said WRAN came into the state at a time when the state really needs them adding that they were looking forward to the development of the strategy document which he noted would serve as a guild for improved healthcare services for citizens.
Speaking earlier in a welcome address, the WRAN board chairperson, Dr Nana Emmanuel Chidi, said for citizens to hold government accountable and help them deliver on their promises which she noted was dear to WRAN, citizens must know that health is a right and demand for quality and affordable services.
Dr Chidi said they were passionate about ensuring that the right of women and girls were uphold to ensure safe pregnancy and healthy reproductive life which she noted was key to the development of any society
She said WRAN was partnering with the state government to ensure that policy that target women and young girls are fully implemented for a better tomorrow.