The Director of Nursing Services in the Gombe state Ministry of Health, Saidu Adamu says the State Government stopped funding free antenatal services in all its health facilities in the state in 2015.
Stakeholders decry rising maternal/child mortality in Gombe; ‘Free antenatal services stopped since 2015’ – Director, Nursing Services
This statement followed several speakers’ presentations which lamented the rising figures of antenatal and infant deaths in the State during a town-hall meeting on Review of Maternal Newborn-Child Health (RMNCH) held at Anmar Hall Gombe. The speakers unanimously agreed that the situation is unacceptable.
According to the Director, the free antenatal services had suffered lack of funding even with budgetary allocation and approval but that releases have not been forth-coming since the First quarter of 2015.
He explained that N100 million for the free antenatal services had been approved for every quarter but that after receiving the release of the funds for the first quarter of 2015, no release had been gotten again even with budgetary allocation and approval.
He said the situation had gotten so bad that the Ministry is now aware of recent molestations of its midwives by patients who feel that antenatal services in Government facilities are free. “This always occurs whenever patients are given lists of drugs and other requirements by the midwives to be brought to the hospital”, he stressed.
The town-hall meeting also frowned at vested interests of highly placed individuals in the State who influence postings or divert postings of their relatives from the rural areas to cities even when there is high demand for health workers especially nurses and midwives in the rural areas of the State.
The town-hall meeting brought together civil society organizations, the media, traditional and religious leaders, officials of the State Ministry of Health as well as Save the Children International.