Following the European Union and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) intervention in providing heads of health facilities in Kebbi State, with Skilled Birth Attendants (SBA), the intervention according to the beneficiaries, is yielding it’s desired fruits.
The facility heads who spoke to Journalists on Wednesday when a media team led by UNICEF’s Communication, Advocacy and Partnership Specialist, Rabiu Musa, visited their various facilities said the intervention is encouraging pregnant women to deliver in health facilities in the state.
The visit is aimed at assessing the impact of TBAs in the 27 primary healthcare facilities in four Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Argungu, Birnin kebbi, Jega and Fakai in the state, supported by EU-UNICEF, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) project.
UNICEF and European Union (EU) had supported Kebbi State with 106 health workers, comprised of 45 midwives and 61 Senior Community Health Extension Workers (SCHEW), to address manpower gaps across the facilities.
Mr Abubakar Saidu, Facility In-Charge, Primary Health Care, Kimba, Jega LGA, said that the support had increased delivery in the facility from zero to between 10 and 20 monthly.
“Before the intervention, we had no female midwife in the facility, a development that sent away pregnant mothers from delivery in the centre.
“This is because in this part of the country, most pregnant women do not allow men to examine them or help them deliver their babies.
“They prefer to deliver at home if there is no trained woman to attend to them, but the situation changed when UNICEF and EU supported us with a female midwife and a SCHEW,” he said.
Saidu said that the health workers on resumption carry out community mobilisation and house to house sensitisation to inform women of their presence and the need to deliver in the facility.
According to him, the development has increase uptake of health services by women and children in the facility from 50 to 60 people in a month to between 400 and 600 a month.
However, the Midwife, Ms Juan Victor, who said she and her colleague were supposed to provide 24-hour services could not do so due to the problem of accommodation.
Similarly, Mr Aliyu Usman, the Facility Head of Gindi Kermi PHC, also said that the presence of skilled workers in the facility has equally increased uptake of health services in the facility.
According to him, not many women were accessing services at the centre except during outreach programmes, adding, however, that the situation had changed since the deployment of skilled workers in the facilities.
Usman also said that the UNICEF and EU MNCHC project has strengthen the effectiveness of Ward Development Committees (WDC), Traditional Birth Attendants and Volunteer Community Mobilisers.
He said that the groups have been assisting significantly in demand creation and referring pregnant mothers to attend antenatal care, deliver in health facility and immunise their children.
He particularly said that the WDC have assisted in renovating the ceiling, the labour room and other parts of the facility, including connecting the centre with electricity.
The Chairman of the WCD, Malam Samaila Yahaya, said that the committee mobilise resources through levies and drug revolving fund to address some needs in health centres and schools.
The Child Survival and Development Consultant of the project, Dr Obinna Orjingene, said that the presence of skilled workers have increased utilisation of SBA significantly in the supported health facilities.
Orjingene also said that delivery in health facility, antenatal and postnatal care attendance had equally increased, thereby, significantly improving the health indices of women and children in the state.