NGO tasks Nigerian government on rural healthcare

The Society for Family Health SFH has asked the Nigerian government to increase and improve access to healthcare services in the rural areas of the country.

The Deputy Director of SFH, Mrs Bolanle Oyebola made the call during the Health Outreach organised by Lydia Dolapo Komalafe Foundation (LDKF) at Wukara community in Abuja Nigeria’s capital tagged: “Partnership for improved community healthcare”.

Oyebola said that addressing health needs in rural communities would reduce child death and also improve the quality of antenatal care for the survival of both new-born and mother.

“The Northern region in the country bears a large percentage of the predicament. This is due to household and community issues such as poor quality of antenatal care, family beliefs and behaviours which are not conducive to survival of new-born and mothers. There is also minimal skilled attendance at birth, and other reasons may be tied to culture and economic position of the people within this communities,” she said.

Oyebola said that 77 per cent of women in rural areas were more likely to deliver at home than their urban counterparts.

She said although the FCT recorded 69.1 per cent facility delivery, she adds that “most women in the rural areas gave birth at home, having little or no antenatal care from trained health provider.”

The Coordinator, Lydia Dolapo Komolafe Foundation(LDKF), Mrs Patience Ekeoba, advocated for legislation and frameworks that guaranteed health and safety outcomes for vulnerable and poor in the country.

“LDKF envisions a society where citizens are free of diseases, insecurity and seeks to achieve transparent and accountable budget allocation and disbursement for Health and safety programmes. Also to mobilise and organise various communities into a movement that will proactively champion the value for life campaign and other positive changes towards achieving a healthy and safer society,” Mrs Patience said.

She said that Wukara community was chosen as an intervention site by the foundation because of the perceived identified needs of medical health care.

“The community is within the heart of the Abuja, there is no single health centre or post. The community members have to go to Kuje Local Government Area to access health care services. When there are emergencies cases, members resort to self-help or patronise private chemists.”
Ekeoba said that the medical services included malaria tests, blood pressure checks and eye tests, adding that referrals would be given to community members if the need arise.

The District Head of the Wukara Community, Mr Ibrahim Dantatu, appreciated the awareness programme on the need for them to be cautious of their health.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Fransica Godwin, appealed to the government to provide affordable medical services for people in the community as healthcare was essential.

The LDKF was established to keep alive the values, dreams and aspirations of Lydia Dolapo Komalafe.  Komalafe was a 21-year-old final year student of the Medical College of the University of Jos, who was killed in May 20 in Jos Market bomb blast.

Rafat S.