RESIDENTS of Roguwa Community in Karu Local Government of Nasarawa State, have complained of lack of adequate health services and ignorance of family planning methods.
The residents complained to a team of journalists who visited the community as part of the training programme organised by the U. S. Agency for International Development – Health Finance Governance Project (USAID – HFG).
The training was in collaboration with Legislative Network for Universal Health Coverage (LNUHC) and International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) in Auta-Balefi near Keffi in Nasarawa State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Roguwa community, which has a population of no less than 3,500 persons, is about 64 km from Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The journalists observed that the only semblance of health service for the community is a dilapidated 2-bedroom bungalow used as a Primary Health Care Centre (PHC).
The PHC is manned by a Community Health Extension Worker (CHEW) and an Environmental Officer.
The CHEW, Mr Balarabe Yusuf, told the journalists that they offer ante-natal services, take delivery of babies, treat minor and major of ailments and other emergencies in the community.
He, however, added that when they had complicated issues they refer the patients to General Hospital, Uke.
A 50-year-old farmer, Malam Umar Abubakar, who also resides in Roguwa, said lack of information about family planning and access to the services led him to have 25 children.
He revealed that he had never heard of modern methods of family planning; however, he expressed readiness to use contraceptives if he has access.
Corroborating, Alhaji Rabo Sarkin-Noma, said he lost his wife at childbirth, because of the bad road and lack of good health facility in the community.
He added that between January and July, the community had lost almost 30 women due to pregnancy-related complications and over 10 men and several children died in the community due to delay in accessing health care.
He said that he only heard about family planning on the radio but residents of the community did not have access to such services.
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According to him, some of the common ailments in the community include; bilharzia, stomach ache in children, typhoid and malaria.
He said most patients paid an average of N4500 for the treatment of malaria, while pregnant women paid N1500 for ante-natal services and N4000 to N5000 for delivery.
He, however, added that “these fees are not affordable for many residents of the community’’.
The District Head of Roguwa, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed, also said that due to the bad road and poor health facility in the community, many women and children were lost during delivery.
Yusuf, head of the PHC in the community, appealed to the government to make the access road to the community motorable.
He also appealed for adequate provision of drugs, employment of more personnel to man the PHC and bigger structure for the PHC to accommodate more people.
He added that there was no ambulance to take the patients on referral to General Hospital Uke but some people in the community assist with their motorbikes.
Yusuf also complained of the lack of visiting medical doctor to the facility in past three years of his stay in the facility.
He said most of the drugs available at the facility were donated by philanthropists.
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