Clement Ekong Yola
A chorus of plaudit has been greeting the intervention of European Union and UNICEF for their giant strides in boosting healthcare delivery in Adamawa State.
Investigation reveals that with the intervention, a renewed hope for the teeming populace is replacing the old order where patients find it extremely difficult to obtain healthcare services across the various primary health centers in the state.
A visit to Mubi South Local Government Area of Adamawa State revealed that the UNICEF in conjunction with European Union has given a total face lift to health care facilities across the Local Government.
However, the efforts of EU/UNICEF in boosting health care delivery in the area has started paying premiums as the total rejuvenation of the sector has led to a concomitant rise of health care indices.
With this development, pregnant women, children and other vulnerable groups are positively affected in many facets of UNICEF and EU interventions in the area.
Though the journey from Yola to Gella the Local Government headquarters of Mubi South was not smooth considering the hurdles and the security risk in the area recently.
Findings at Yawa Ward indicated that despite the Boko Haram attack on the available health facility and the concomitant damage wrought on the structure, the facility has been made functional courtesy of the EU/UNICEF.
A spokesperson of Yawa Ward, Mr Brown Ishaku said Boko Haram constantly attack and destroy every health facilities in the area.
According to Brown Ishaku “in fact fifty percent of the attacks centered around health facilities, when they discovered that people from the community take refuge in such facilities “.
Beneficiaries from Mujera Ward commended EU/UNICEF intervention for making effective health services a reality and accessible to the people of the community thereby reducing child mortality and improve on maternal health.
A community leader, Mallam Abdullahi Isa who took the reporter around an abandoned clinic, lamented that the clinic which was abandoned for over five years, shared with goats and other domestic animals, but today “we are happy because EU/UNICEF has made us smile “.
Mallam Isa who looks elevated said EU/UNICEF intervention has provided functional refrigerators for the storing of drugs, constant water supply, mosquito nets as well as antenatal /anti malaria drugs for our women and children.
Similarly, at Wadili Ward Public Health Center (PHC), a cross section of expected mothers and children expressed appreciation for UNICEF’s gesture, saying “we have never had it better like now in the past years.
However, at Madanya community, a birth attendant at the Birth Registration Center, Pastor Nuhu Anselem ,said the birth registration exercise in the area has improved immensely through sensitization carried out by EU/UNICEF.
Pastor Nuhu Anselem observed that years ago, “we never knew about birth registration exercise but now we are taking the lead while the centres are increased through every nook and cranny “.
According to him, the role played by EU/UNICEF has given room for free access to schools, hospitals and other social services while parents on their part should ensure the registration of their children are complied with.
Further investigation revealed that residents of Gella, the headquarters of Mubi South commended European Union and UNICEF for the interventions, saying it has improved on drinking water and sanitation services as well as other basic hygiene practices in all the wards visited.
This is reality because many communities were educated on the use of “chlorine and aqua tablets for the treatment of water “, consequently, the development has reduced open defecation and increase basic use of toilet and hygiene practice in the rural areas.
In an interview with the Executive Secretary Primary Health Care Agency Mr Kabiru Biru, disclosed that over 15,500 women have benefitted from the free immunization and antenatal interventions thereby reducing cases of maternal mortality in the Area.
The Executive Secretary added, in an effort to meat the demands of the citizens especially at the “Hard to Reach Terrains”, UNICEF supplied nine (9) motorcycles to CORP and Mama to Mama in mobilizing women for antenatal and immunization which has tremendously help mothers and children from pregnancy to birth.
Kabiru Biru said as EU/UNICEF interventions continues to gather momentum, 108 Community Oriented Resource Person (CORP), have been trained and mobilized to communities to sensitize the people and had equally influenced functional ward development committee with the involvement of traditional and religious leaders in the local government area.
“To take the UNICEF interventions to the door posts of the community, CORP were equally trained to give treatment to malaria patients and other related diseases in the council area ” he stated.
According to him, to boast the coverage routine of UNICEF, 200 boreholes were dug with construction of toilets in every primary schools to check the sanitary and hygienic conditions of the area through the establishment of “WASH”.
Also speaking the Director Public Health Care Centre in Gella, Mr Marafa Musa said UNICEF intervention has recently increased women participation from ten to one over forty a month.
Mr Marafa Musa noted that the patronage is encouraging as many families now patronize the centre more than before and thanked UNICEF for bringing such initiative.
While at Lamorde PHC, Mrs Rifkatu Joel explained that over 50 to 70 patients attended the antenatal clinics daily while out patients records 20 to 50 daily.
Rifkatu Joel thanks UNICEF for the renovation of the centre, provision of adequate drugs and mosquito nets as well as fencing the entire premises to checkmate the activities of the miscreants.
A nursing mother, Hajya Safiyu Bello said she actually enjoyed patronizing the maternity clinics which makes for safe delivery and others.
Hajya Bello maintained that “Many pregnant women relied on the intervention of the clinics due to the awareness and sensitization by the Mama to Mama group and the CORPS.
Also collaborating, the District Head of Mubi South, Alhaji Sali Bello said the many interventions of UNICEF through the support of the European Union has brought a lot of live saving changes to the mothers in the State.
He maintained that before the UNICEF intervention in his domain, pregnant women had it difficult and rough to attend hospital because of certain traditional and religious beliefs and decided to give birth at home.
Alhaji Sali Bello, the Hakimi Gude in Mubi South Local Government Area of Adamawa State who stated this in his palace said the coverage of EU -MNCHN projects at designated communities in Mubi South has rekindled the hope of the women and children.
According to him, “pregnant women hardly access care delivery easily and when they are fortunate to access one, they end up in a health care facility that is often inadequate without trained personnel “.
The Royal Father maintained further that the introduction and training of the “Community Oriented Resource Person” (CORP),
actually help in creating awareness in the communities .
He lamented that some of the mothers, despite being in a critical health challenges shortly after labour had set in are often rejected by some facilities including public and private health care facilities.
EU/ UNICEF support intervention has made a positive impact on the lives of the beneficiaries as well as reducing child mortality rate, he averred.
On antenatal, Hakimi Gude recalled that before now, many mothers sometimes refused antenatal due to poverty positions and lack of awareness, except when labour becomes complicated, they will end up being rushed to medical facilities on emergency, unfortunately, most of them end up losing the child or the mother.
While applauding the efforts of the EU-UNICEF in renovating some moribund health care centers in the community, he said “before the intervention some of the buildings were inside a large grass land and became the home of undesirable reptiles, intact the emergence of the intervention is unquantifiable and should be encouraged by all”.
Speaking on the same vein, the Officer In Charge of Maternal and Child Health Care in Gella Public Health Center, Mrs Susana T Moni said the response by expected mothers have been encouraging.
Mrs Susana Moni said “sometimes we visited them at home twice a week as sign of encouragement and to enable them response positively to their medications as and when due “.
She advised couples to plan their pregnancies, attend antenatal as a way of reducing health risks, and thanked UNICEF for the intervention, assuring that the items would be used judiciously for the desire purpose.
Also speaking, Madam Saa’datu Ibrahim of Yahuma ward said, “I never gave birth in the hospital even though I am aware of the assistance from UNICEF and other foreign donors.
Saa’datu Ibrahim appeals for other incentives like detols and other antiseptics apart from the mosquito nets that will help the newly born children.