230,486 in Zamfara get Pregnant Yearly – Official 

89% Delivers at Home

By Victor Osae IHIDERO, Gusau

Over 230,486 pregnant women are recorded yearly in Zamfara State, unfortunately 89.2 percent of these women delivers at home, while only 10.7 percent gives birth at the health facilities, a government official has revealed. 

The State according to National Population Commission (NPC), has an estimated population of about 4,609,712, with 1,014,137 women of child bearing  age, with under 5 of age population of 921,942 and 184,388 under 1 population. 

Dr. Aliyu Idris, State Immunisation Officer, who represented the Executive Secretary, Zamfara State Primary Healthcare Agency, disclosed this in his presentation at the state Advocacy and Community Engagement Workshop in Gusau on Tuesday. 

He added that according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2016/2017, about 210 out of every 1000 under 5 of age children die yearly. And that 104 of 0 to 12 months old babies lost their lives yearly.

Dr.  Idris, said only 29.0 percent attend Antea Natal Care (ANC), up to 4 times before delivery, while only 42.2 percent that attend their ANC just ones. 

He expressed worries that as a result, “high disease burden affects productivity making it a major barrier to economic growth, a high fertility rate would  put significant strain on the available resources of the state, making it difficult for the population to access education, nutrition, water and sanitation services.

“Poor Immunization coverage would result to high under 5 morbidity and mortality and further affect our children reaching their potentials, investment in health would result in a three fold growth in the economy of the state.

The doctor noted that, though the state has health facilities existing in all the 147 Wards and that there are presence of health and nutrition implementing partners in the state, but low demand and utilization of health care services and poor participation of the community in the management of health service delivery at the LGAs and community levels is still a serous challenge. 

Inadequate human resource capacity- in terms of number, distribution, skills and capacity to deliver quality Primary Health care and Primary Healthcare services not implemented under one roof were also identified by him. 

He enumerated myths and misconceptions especially on maternal and childhood nutrition, poverty, ignorance/low level of education, poor attitudes of health workers, etc as some threats to effective health care service delivery in the state. 

Dr.  Idris however said, the government in its current intervention efforts has provided “Integrated Primary Health Care Services in 250 Hard to Reach (HTR) settlements in 8 LGA, by linking HTR program in Zamfara State to the designated One PHC per ward.

“Support for One functional PHC per ward approach, all designated sites have been identified and links with partners made for support. Support monthly meeting of WDCs in 8 LGAs, providing funds for social mobilization, training of personnel and Supplies for health camps and supportive supervision by staff and consult.”

He added that UNICEF has supported the procurement and installation of 96 Solar Derived Devices (SDD) in LGAs and health facilities across the state under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen vaccine cold chain infrastructure in Zamfara State.

Also provides technical, financial and Human Resource (HR) support to the vaccinations campaign, logistics, supporting the International Coordinating Group (ICG) vaccine request process, vaccine security and logistics management of the Men C vaccines and Case management, provided 2,000 vials of 1gm Ceftriaxone to the State Ministry of Health.

Dr Aliyu, there called on traditional and religious leaders to increase demand for health services, take ownership of health structures, promote health seeking behaviour in religious gatherings.

He urged them to use faith for life manual to promote increased demand for health interventions, sensitise their followers on health interventions to break barriers to accessing care by the community members, sensitization and awareness creation to the community members to increase demand for health care services and to discuss health and health related issues during regular meetings headed by them.

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