By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Following severe increase in death of women as a result of maternal mortality rates in Gwauro community, in Igab local government area of Kaduna state, the people have teamed-up and built their own Hospital to save the lives of their children and women.
Residents in the area decided to construct a 7-bedroom apartment meant to be used as their Hospital, to fight maternal mortality, so as to reduce the rate at which pregnant women alone died in large numbers on the road before reaching township hospital for delivery.
Mallam Umaru Galadima, who is one of the traditional title holders in the community, while speaking with journalists that visited the village said that, they lost so many pregnant women and children as a result of the distance between their village and near-by town, adding that they have to travel about 25-30 kilometers from the village to locate any hospital in town for any medical attention; hence, the need to build their own hospital.
Umaru said, “We have finished building the hospital, but our greatest challenge is the little money to complete the roofing of the hospital. We are tired of seeing our women, sisters and mothers dying due to lack of hospital; that is why the entire community gathered themselves to build the hospital, in order to support government and non–governmental organizations in the fight against maternal mortality and infant deaths in the area.”
Umaru says, “The population of residents of the area is about 5,000 peoples; and they are mostly farmers and have been in the area for many years,” pointing out clearly that politicians usually visit the village during their political campaigns and make promises of helping them to provide all the basic amenities that could improve their lives always, but forget them once they assume power.
“Lack of road is one of the main problem that causes the deaths of pregnant women in the village, most especially when they start labour, before giving birth at night, and also inadequate health infrastructures, low level of education and inadequate community health services are some of the challenges confronting the development of the community,” he said.
Umaru further noted that whenever a pregnant woman wanted to deliver in the villages, it becomes a burden to the entire community, simply because there is no hospital or any facility in the area, while some have decided on their own to be using traditional midwifes, as the only alternative.
Community leaders in the area have appealed to Government and wealthy individuals to help them in completing the roofing of the hospital.
Meanwhile, Mallam Saidu Shehu Rohugi, who is one of the members of the committee for the construction of the hospital in the village, said “We have done what we could to build the hospital, but our greatest challenges now is the little money to complete the hospital, and that is why we are begging state governor to come to our rescue and our women and children from dying, while rushing to hospital in Town.”
Saidu also added that, “We cannot estimate the number of women and children that died as a result of using this road, while trying to take patient to a near–by hospital for medical attention.”
Also responding, Malama Rakiya Ahmed, who is a pregnant woman residing in the area, told journalists that she is always afraid of having a pregnancy, due to lack of hospital in their community, and it becomes a challenge for a pregnant woman to be using Motor-cycle or climbing Truck-Tipper to hospital.
Rakiya concluded that, if Kaduna state government will help them complete the roofing of the newly constructed hospital and provide staff, there will be a serious reduction of pregnant women that are dying as a result of lack hospital.