By Mary Jalingo
The Niger State Government said it has plan to improve quality healthcare services for women and children.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Mustapha Jibril who disclosed this said machinery has being put in place to ensure that they have access to quality and dignified healthcare services at little or no cost.
He stated this during the official launch of what women want campaign for equality, equitable and dignified healthcare for women and girls organized by White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria (WRAN) in collaboration with the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (SPHCDA) at tunga Primary Healthcare Centre in Minna.
Dr Jibril said a bill establishing the state contributory health scheme which has already being approved by the council and passed the first and second reading in the state house of assembly would, no doubt, take care of the out of pocket expenditure of citizens.
He commended WRAN for trying to bring women closer to government noting that data collected during the campaign would help the government get first hand information of the need of women and girls which would help them prioritize.
Speaking earlier, country coordinator WRAN, Mr. Tonte Ibraye said what women want is a global advocacy campaign aim at improving quality maternal and reproductive healthcare for women and girls and to strengthen health system.
He said the two year campaign which would target women and girls between the ages of 15-49 would collect responses and key finding which he said would be analysis, aggregated and shared in 2019 using key global and national moments to involved and galvanise as many people as possible to making positive change for women and girls.
The coordinator said the campaign which aim at reaching about 1 million women and girls all over the world including Nigeria and Niger state in particular would last till 2019.
He said for the state, they intend to reach about 50,000 women and girls to ask them what their key priorities are in term of having access to equitable and dignified care.
Also speaking, Malama Hajara Usman said women dying during pregnancy and child birth could be prevented if healthcare providers especially midwives would be more human and treat women with respect at health facilities.
Hajara noted that most women do not attend antenatal due to attitude of health care providers thereby putting their lives and those of their children at stalk.
She called on government to ensure that healthcare services for women and children are truly free and not lip services as most of the time those routine drugs are very expensive.