The officials emphasised the importance of the waiting rooms, established in hospitals and health centres for pregnant women to comfortably wait for delivery in exclusive interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Sokoto on Sunday.
The maternity waiting room initiative is to tackle the issues of maternal and child mortality as many rural women travel long distances to access healthcare centres.
The rooms, therefore, allow pregnant women who are due to stay in hospital and wait for delivery of their babies.
Malam Musa Wamakko, the Director, International Cooperation in the Sokoto State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, expressed happiness over the creation of the waiting rooms.
He told NAN that the rooms provided succour to less privileged pregnant women who encounter challenges during childbirth.
Wamakko said that under the initiative, waiting rooms in the hospitals were equipped with required hospital beddings, refrigerators, air conditioning appliances, among others, to ensure comfortability.
He added that foodstuff are also supplied to the rooms on quarterly basis, where pregnant women are fed according to standard practice, with advise by nutritional experts, drugs and other consumables.
The director said “as at yesterday, we distributed 50 bags of rice, vegetable oil, beans, milk, beverage, drugs and other consumables.
“The intervention is highly commendable and exciting because pregnant women from remote settlements and villages, who lack nutritional foods and are faced with challenges, get good food and rest at the waiting room before delivery.
“The pregnant women access good medications to ease child delivery.”
Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi, the District Head of Gagi, also described the waiting rooms as a lifesaver that would benefit citizens.
Umar-Jabbi told NAN that the rooms would reduce the sufferings of pregnant women during labour as most of them travel long distances to access Primary Healthcare Centres.
He explained that the PHCs are being patronised by many communities “so, pregnant women from far places are faced with accommodation and transportation challenges during delivery.
“But the waiting rooms allow the women to stay back in hospitals and wait for delivery, while experts take care of them and good food is being served.
“The waiting rooms have solved the problems of non-availability of vehicles and the long distance to reach health centre during child birth.
This is because pregnant women can now wait comfortably in health centres before delivery.
“The UNFPA labour waiting rooms have impacted the lives of many women, while labour rooms in PHCs are being upgraded, furnished and equipped for the women’s comfort.
“Before the UNFPA intervention in Gagi PHC, we recorded fewer deliveries but with improved services supported by the Fund, we now record up to 90 child deliveries per month,’’ Umar-Jabbi said.
Mrs Zainab Aliyu, the Officer In-Charge of maternity at Gagi PHC in Sokoto South Local Government, said the efforts had yielded positive results.
Aliyu said the two beds at the waiting room although inadequate, are being utilised, with patients inflow from seven to 10 each month.
She said pregnant women from rural settlements in Kware and Dange-Shuni local government areas also access the facility.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Asma’u Nafi’u from Tunga village, who was discharged after spending two days, expressed satisfaction with the support she obtained at the facility.
Some other women, A’isha Sani and Asma’u Habib from Gidan Hero community, said they were relieved staying in the waiting room and they delivered safely.
They both thanked UNFPA and the facility workers for the support and services given them.
Hussaina Kabir, the Officer In-charge of the maternity in Kofar PHC in Sokoto North Local Government Area, said the centre accommodates pregnant women from distant places and some stay for six days.
Kabir, who said all the five beds at the centre are functional and patients receive free feeding and medications, noted that “the trooping of visitors to see patients is our major challenge.
She, however, added that some other pregnant women also seek accommodation in houses near the PHC to wait for delivery, as they find it difficult to go back to their homes in distant communities, expected to come back when labour starts.
According to her, women prefer to stay around the PHC when due for delivery to avoid complications.
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