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.‎

I started my journalism career as a reporter for the New Nigerian Newspaper based in Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria, after graduating with a Higher Diploma in journalism from International Institute of Journalism Abuja. In 2013, I transitioned into freelancing for local and international media organizations. I am a member of Investigative and Developmental journalists team based in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria. Our focus is mainly on rural reporting and development. Our reports led to several interventions in most of the rural communities reported in Kaduna State. I have received several awards, including the Courage in Journalism Award in recognition for my investigative report in Unguwar Kanti a local community of Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna state in the year 2016 from Africa Media Development Foundation. In December 2015 I received Bleeder's Pen Award from Hemophilia Foundation of Nigeria for my effort in creating Hemophilia Awareness in Local communities of Kaduna. In November 2016 I bagged developmental and community service award for community reporting from Kadpoly Students Entrepreneur group ( ENECTUS) . In early 2017, I received another award from Peace Revival and Reconciliation Foundation of Nigeria a Non-Governmental Organization for my efforts in peace and rural reporting. I developed an interest to join Rural Reporters because I share in its vision, passion, and concerns toward giving voice to people living in remote communities across Nigeria and Africa. I believe with my contribution to RR media platform, authorities attention will be drawn to take appropriate action towards focusing more on rural areas in Nigeria and Northern Nigeria in particular. I cover education, health, Water, and Environment.

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