Residents of Madamai community have decried the unavailability of midwives and inadequate healthcare providers in their health facility, saying, in times of emergencies, the easiest form of mobility to take patients to the nearest hospital is “the wheel barrow.”
Madamai is a village in Kpak ward of Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna state. It is made up of “Madamai I” and “Madamai II” with about 8,500 people, who are mostly farmers. They cultivate mostly Yam, Okro, Maize and a local bean known as “Waken Mada.”
The hilly village – just like most rural communities in Nigeria – is being deprived of basic infrastructures such as good roads, electricity, portable drinking water and a standard healthcare center.
The slippery nature of the road into Madamai, especially during rainy seasons, makes it difficult for vehicles and motorcycles to ply; as such, the wheelbarrow becomes the best form of mobility to transport any pregnant woman, who is in labor or, any emergency cases, to the major road or nearest hospital.
The nearest hospital to the community is Turaki Bugai Memorial Hospital and Kaura General Hospital, both of which are located about five kilometers away from the community.
“The road is so bad that even a bike can slip or a car gets trapped in the mud,” says Mrs. Esther Yakubu, a resident of the community. According to her, when a woman is in labor or even emergencies, the men take off their shoes and push the woman, while others follow – to monitor her, in case she delivers on the way, saying, the best thing is to push, since the road is sloppy, while going out.
Mrs. Yakubu, who is mother of five, explained that she delivered two babies at a healthcare centre and equally enjoyed the wheelbarrow ride, noting that, there are instances where women deliver on the way, and they are returned to the village to be taken care of traditionally. (As at Tuesday morning, the healthcare facility in the community was locked up, without any healthcare worker on site).
Explaining how they tackled some of the challenges arising from complications such as bleeding, another member of the community, Mrs. Madeline P. Akwok, said they used traditional herbs to manage it and, in the case whereby it persists, they would rush such patient(s) to the nearest hospital, which is some five kilometers away from the village.
She also noted that with the little experience she has gained, while attending ante natal of her pregnancies, it has enabled her to render some forms of assistance to women in the community during labor.
According to her, most of the women in the community are reluctant when it comes to attending ante natal, but the little experience she had, while attending ante natal has enabled her to render some form of assistance to many women who gave birth at home.
She added that in recent time, the community has not recorded any death of women as a result of any pregnancy-related complications, but that six babies died between January and August, 2017.
Corroborating what the women said, the community leader, Mr. Andrew Lekwot, said even though government has sent some healthcare providers to the community’s health centre, which was built through community effort, sometimes the staff are hardly seen in the facility.
Lekwot also lamented the (deplorable) state of roads and lack of other infrastructure in the area, saying, “whenever it rains, the teachers that come to teach our pupils don’t make it to the village; our women cannot take their farm produce to the market because of the bad condition of road, which links the village to town.”