Jido Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) stands in the middle of Jido community of Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area (LGA) of Kano State. This is quite significant as the PHC, which was refurbished in 2017 by the European Union Support to Immunisation Governance in Nigeria (EU-SIGN) project, provides maternal services, immunisation, and family planning services to Jido and other neighbouring communities.
Gambo Abdullahi is one of the eight traditional birth attendants (TBAs) trained by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and assigned to the PHC to improve antenatal services uptake and delivery in the community. They do this by building awareness among pregnant women on safe practices during pregnancy and providing hands-on support for healthcare workers at the PHC. Every Thursday, Abdullahi and other TBAs go house-to-house to check on pregnant women who missed their antenatal visits the previous day. “We come here every Wednesday when the women are supposed to come for their antenatal. If any woman is missing from those booked for the week, we go to her house, to find out why she didn’t come and ensure she doesn’t miss next time,” she said.
The TBAs were engaged in 2020 and according to Aisha Shehu, the officer in-charge of the facility, since then, there has been a steady increase in the number of women – from Jido and other neighbouring communities – accessing antenatal services at the PHC. “Unlike before, our health facility now attends to at least 20 women a week,” she said. Shehu attributed the increase in the uptake of antenatal services to the community outreach by the TBAs, adding that the women are becoming more aware of pregnancy care and how to take care of themselves at home.
However, the facility doesn’t have a laboratory. For Shehu this hinders their ability to provide quality services as, the women on antenatal visits who often need to carry out urine, HIV and other required tests are referred to other health facilities far from the Jido community. Also, PHC lacks a labour room, therefore, women are referred to other health facilities for deliveries.
The increase in the uptake of antenatal services in Jido PHC is commendable and could contribute to preventing pregnancy complications. Thanks to the work of the TBAs and health workers at the facility. However maternal care services cannot be fully effective without a laboratory to carry out routine testes, and a labour room for delivery. To ensure that women have access to the best quality of health care available, Jido community members are asking Dawakin Kudu LGA and the Kano State government to build on the achievements of previous interventions by,
- Establishing a fully equipped laboratory for Jido PHC
- Building a fully equipped labour room in Jido PHC