Nigeria Health Watch

Sallari PHC: A Beacon of Hope for Improved Access to Family Planning Services

Mu’azzam Mainasara Sallari Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in the Sallari community of Tarauni Local Government Area (LGA), Kano State, was established in 2021 by Abubakar Zakari Muhammad, a former State Assembly member representing Tarauni LGA. The PHC offers primary healthcare services, including antenatal care (ANC), immunisation and family planning.

Previously, only a handful of women were accessing maternal and child health services at the PHC, however, the officer-in-charge (OiC), Kabiru Hassan Muhammad, recently made significant efforts to improve their services. He engaged with community leaders and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide chairs and contraceptives in the facility to improve patients’ comfort and expand the list of services they provide. The community also played an instrumental role in improving the state of the PHC by forming a committee to ensure efficient service delivery.

Bilkisu Musa, the family planning focal person, said there has been a significant increase in the number of women accessing family planning services in recent months. “Initially, we only served a maximum of 10 women monthly, but we currently attend to 30 to 40 women weekly,” she said, adding that in October alone, 102 contraceptives were administered.

The OiC mentioned that an NGO, the Society for Family Health, provides free contraceptives like birth control pills and implants. “Additionally, due to the facility’s improved family planning services, the LGA increased our contraceptive allocation from 40 to 180 twice a month,” he said. Adding that “This improvement has led neighbouring hospitals to refer women to our facility to access family planning services.”

Maryam Yusha’u, a resident and a mother of seven who began accessing family planning in the hospital after her sixth child, said: “Despite initial concerns of the side effects of the contraceptive, I found reassurance from the doctor, and I eventually overcame the fear.”

Despite the increasing demand for family planning services at the hospital, Hannatu Abubakar, another resident, noted that there is no toilet for patients, and the only existing one is designated for staff members only. Additionally, due to the lack of a functioning laboratory, pregnant women have been made to visit other facilities to access laboratory services.  

Health workers and residents who access maternal and child health care services at the Sallari PHC request the Kano State Government to address the following concerns:

1. Construct a dedicated toilet for patients’ use.

2. Provide a well-equipped laboratory and other essential maternal health care equipment.

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