Health Workers, Community Improving ANC Attendance in Kebbi – Official
By Uangbaoje Alex, Birni Kebbi
Dalijan Primary Healthcare Centre, Gwandu Local Government Area of Kebbi State is recording massive turn out of pregnant women for antenatal care (ANC) services, says the Facility Head, Mr Auwal Sani.
Sani attributed the upsurge of the ANC to Health Workers and Community forum introduced by UNICEF and European Union-Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition in the state in 2016.
He told journalists at Dalajan on Friday that ANC attendance has improved from 88 in January to 1,127 in December 2018.
He equally said that new ANC attendance has continued to witness an upward rise in the facility.
“For example, the facility recorded 27 new ANC attendance in July, which increased to 40 in August, and so far, we have recorded 51 new attendance in September 2019 and still counting.
“This ANC/Health Workers Forum is really helping to address challenges affecting ANC attendance and demand for other health services in Kebbi communities,” he said.
Mr Ahmed Ahmed, Communication for Development Consultant, UNICEF, EU-MNCHN project, said that the ANC/Health Workers forum was introduced in two Local Government Areas namely, Danko Wasagu and Gwandu.
Ahmed explained that the forum was designed for pregnant women, health workers and community members to share experience and challenges affecting demand for health services during ANC.
“The forum helps in identifying home-based issues that has do with the husbands and their wives and facility-based issues affecting service delivery with a view to finding ways of addressing them.
“If the problem is from the home, the husbands are there to listen to their wives; if it is quality of service delivery, the facility head is there to listen and take necessary action.
“If it is community issues the Ward Development Committees are there to listen and sensitise community members on way forward.
“The goal is for the health workers, pregnant and mothers of children under five years to find common grounds in increasing demand for health services and ensure quality service delivery in health facilities,” he said.
Journalists, who witnessed one of the sessions reports that the forum was very interactive and pregnant women and community members freely shared their experience and challenges.
One of the pregnant women, Aishatu Bala, a mother of six, said that she had the full support of her husbands on issues concerning health and nutrition services courtesy of the forum.
She added that her husband regularly accompanied her to the facility for ANC and other maternal and nutrition services.
A community member, Malam Shehu Usman, equally noted that the forum has provided a platform for community members to be actively involve in improving service delivery and demand creation.
“Through the forum we have learned how best to support our wives and encourage them to go for ANC, immunisation and provide adequate nutritious food for the family,” Usman said.