By Victor Osae IHIDERO, Kaduna
Kaduna State Commissioner of Budget and Planning, Muhammad Sani, said that about 70% of pregnant women in the state employ the services of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) and as a result give birth in their houses. While deploring the practice, he however added that the government is significantly improving the Primary Health Care (PHC) system in the state to stop the ugly trend.
According to him, “what we have found out is that in Kaduna we have about 70% of women who are giving birth in their houses, in their own rooms, at the rural areas, this are practices we have to discourage and to bring as many people as we can to give birth inside the hospital with proper nurses and midwives that will deliver this children.”
The disclosed this at a “S trategic Planning meeting on Government Counterpart Cash Contribution (GCCC) Utilisation” in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday in Kaduna.
He said the state is making significant investment in the PHCs and data management in order to save mothers that are dying during childbirth surrounding issues of fistula and other social ills that affects young girls and women in the state.
The Commissioner, noted that UNFPA, in 2016 contributed the sum of N400 million in addition to N100 million contributed by the state government to improve on Health, Data and other areas of mutual interest to both partners regarding women and girls.
“Today, we are looking at the next line of programmes between the state government and UNFPA, so we are looking at the 2017 contribution of which Kaduna has given N120 million and UNFPA will give four times of that amount to jointly do programmes that will help us.” Sani said.
He identified lack of coordination is part of the major challenge encountered in the past, where so many partners are interested in working with the state at the same time, adding that the meeting was aimed at identifying strategic areas for programming of funds based on consensus and to agree on timelines for revision of 2017 Work plan.
On her part, UNFPA Programme Coordinator/Head of Office, Northwest, Nigeria, Mariama Darboe, said Kaduna is the easiest state to work in Nigeria, as the government is committed and competent in delivery service.
“Our main focus is to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, that every childbirth is safe, that no woman dies giving birth, that young people that constituted about 70% of the population are able to get all the skills, all the knowledge and all the help they need to contribute to their economies, that is our main mandate.
“We are also working to ensure that we bring down drastically the numbers of women who dies giving birth and to make sure that women are empowered so they can contribute to their families and to the communities, especially as a woman, if she is able to stay in school up to 18years and finish her secondary school, she makes a better wife, a better woman and a better person.” She added.