By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Kabobo is a village, under Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna state. It’s located at 15 kilometers west of Rigachikun, and 27 kilometres away from Kaduna main town,
With a population of about 1,200 people, inhabitants of Kabobo are mostly Hausas and some Fulani, whose major occupations are farming and rearing of cattle in small scale.
About 200 years old, the Kabobo community is yet to be provided with any Primary Health Care, PHC, centre, for the health care needs of the people, making it extremely difficult for expectant mothers in the area to attend Antenatal during pregnancy.
Therefore, for every female of child-bearing age, it’s not only a mere lamentation but a hell on earth.
And for every pregnant woman, the periods before child birth or child delivery are, therefore, spent at home and in the farms without experiencing maternity, also due to complete absence of health care system or services in the community. Even chemist or patent medical services are also absent.
Kabobo is surrounded with several other villages, but none has any primary health care center to take care of the health needs of the rural poor. During child birth and delivery, the people relied entirely on the support they are getting from local services provide by traditional birth attendants.
In addition to the more than two decades of peaceful coexistence of the inhabitants, the people of Kabobo are also still having issues with education. While the village has only two classrooms to accommodate the entire 221 Primaries 1-6 pupils, which is not conducive for teaching and learning, the only teacher, who survived the ongoing education reform competency test in the area, comes to class only at his own pleasure, as he was evidently absent at the time of visit on Friday.
Like several other communities, Kabobo, too, is without electricity, pipe-born water, good roads, etc., and therefore lacks civilization. Apparently, owning to lack of these social amenities and essentialities of life, occupants of the village indulge and inhibit damaging traditions of Early Child Marriage of their female children.
The tradition grew from one family to another over the years, and has developed to a disturbing level. So ugly it is, that hardly has a girl-child clock 14 years of age without being given out for marriage – with its attendant consequences.
In most cases, parents don’t even allow the girls to complete their primary education, talk more of secondary schools, located 15 kilometres, in far away Rigachikun. As at last counts, only about 3 indigenous youth of Kabobo have so far completed their secondary education in the history of the entire village.
According to the Village Head of Kabobo, Abdullahi Kabobo, who spoke to a team of visiting journalists, the community lacks basics amenities such as PHC, Electric and water. Kabobo further stressed that the entire community is lacking behind in the area of hospitals, which is their major concern, as their women don’t go for antenatal due to absence of a health facility within the community.
He explained that the closest health facility to the community is located about 17 kilometres from their village, adding that the people within the area take their sick children and wives to Maraba or Rigachikun Health Centres for treatment when all local treatment through herbs failed them.
“Some of our women do give birth by the riverside, on their way to hospitals, for child delivery. Our women don’t go for antenatal because of distance. Our community has been in existence for 200 years but without social amenities, particularly PHC,” he said.
Aliyu Alhassan, who is Deputy Imam of the community, also expressed worry over the lack of PHC in the community. According to him, there are women who, despite the challenges, still go for antenatal, but majority of them prefer to deliver their babies at home.
“We believe that providing PHC in this community will greatly reduce the suffering of our people, women in particular,” he said.
Wife of the Village Head of Kabobo and mother of six children, Lariya Umar Kabobo, lamented the situation, saying “As you can see, I’m pregnant, but I still don’t go for antenatal because of distance. Most of my children, I deliver them at home.
“We don’ even have commercial motorcycles operating here, making it difficult to go to hospital. We have no choice but to result to traditional herbs. An elderly women are the people assisting us to deliver at home,” she said.
“My fifth child was born by the riverside on my way to hospital when the labour came with a complication,” she added.
An 85 years-old traditional birth attendant, Halimatu Alhassan, said she spent more than 20 years assisting women to deliver in the community. “I was not trained, but I have been doing the job for more than 20 years without difficulties. In this village, we are not used to modern medicine or our women going for antenatal care. But I think it will be good if we have a PHC in this village, so that sick women and children can go for treatment,” she said.
Also, another housewife, a 25 years-old Hajara Musa, said “We are having serious problem during childbirth. I’m also pregnant now, but I don’t go for antenatal. I’m seven months pregnant but I have never attended antenatal care, only using herbs,” she said.
“We want to go to school even from our husband’s house, but we’re not allowed,” she said.
However, the people commended late Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa for opening up the only road to the area, and former Governor Ramalan Yero for providing a borehole, respectively.
Universally, health coverage demands that PHC facilities be provided in every community by government for health needs of people.