Community Watch : Should Maternal Health Matter In Chikaji-Rohuki?
Chikaji-Rohuki, Nigeria – Talatu Bamaiyi, 35, has been married for seven years. She recently gave birth to her fourth child. All her children were delivered at home without support from trained traditional birth attendants or nurses.
According to Bamaiyi, the lack of Primary Healthcare Centre forces women like herself to deliver at home while the others are afraid of being pregnant.
The distance between Chikaji-Rohuki, where Bamaiyi lives, to a nearby hospital in Kawo community, is about 20 kilometers. The only means of transportation to neighboring communities is motorcycles. Sometimes the women also hitch-hike on trucks that ply the dilapidated road in order to access basic health services.
Bamaiyi explained why pregnancy for a couple is a thing of fear instead of joy.
“You see, we all love children but the majority of us are afraid of being pregnant [due to the] suffering that comes with it and we also witnessed a number of women that die during childbirth,” she said.
Bamaiyi added that some women in the village have suffered a miscarriage or other forms of complications.
“Many pregnant women die due to complication while in labor. Others die due to bleeding they go through before being transported out of the village to Kawo hospital. We need a hospital closed to this village to save us from the stressed and sufferings we are going through,” she said.
Solomon David, another resident of the village, agreed withBamaiyi’s views.
“We cannot estimate the number of women that died in this village and other surrounding villages,” he said.
David appealed to Kaduna State government to establish a primary health center in the village to improve maternal health and the quality of life.
“Lack of hospital is our greatest challenge in this community,” David said.
Another challenge is the lack of motorable road, which is making it difficult for the men who are predominantly farmers to transport their farm produce to city markets.
“I’m sure you saw how bad our road is, only Tipper trucks and motorcycles ply the road every day, its pain us to see our pregnant women climbing Tipper Truck to take them to the city,” said David.
Musa Dauda, who is also a resident ofChikaji-Rohuki, told RuralReporters that the community needs school for their children.
He lamented that politicians do visit them during a campaign to make promises that would influence votes in their favor but they never return after winning the election.
“Our politicians come during [election] campaign in big cars to make promises about improving our lives, but we hardly see them once they get elected into office,” Dauda said.