News The African Way

Jankasa: A Kaduna Village Where Residents Travel 15KM To Access Health Services

By Longtong Ibrahim

Kaduna (Nigeria) – Residents of Jankasa community, a village in Northern Nigeria have decried absence of health facility in their community, saying they travel 15KM to get access.

Most rural areas in Nigeria are deprived of basic infrastructure; they have limited or no access to modern farm implements, no schools, no portable water, no feeder roads, no irrigation facilities and most importantly, very few health facilities to serve large populations, which often leads to low quality of life. Most amenities are concentrated in urban centres.

Hence, there is the need to develop the health sector, so as to enhance the quality of life, especially of the most vulnerable groups, women and children.

In most villages where health facilities are found, there is gross shortage of health care providers, especially maternal health service providers, which puts women at high risk during childbirth deliveries; many have lost their lives from complications arising during pregnancy, childbirth deliveries, or shortly after birth. Sometimes as a result of factors that includes poor attendance to antenatal clinic, drug stock out in health centres, inadequate manpower at health centres, irregular funding of the health sector, as well as access to skilled delivery.

Like every other state in the country, Kaduna is also faced with these enormous challenges, which results to increasing maternal mortality among women living in rural areas.

According to Kaduna State Strategic Health Development Plan 2010 – 2015; with a population of 6.4 million people, health care services are provided from a total of 1,692 health care facilities, out of which 40.2 percent belong to private sector; 96.5 percent of all these facilities are primary health care centers, 3.2 percent are secondary health care center while 0.3 are tertiary health care facilities.

In the state, there are about 150 medical doctors, 1,616 nurses that attend to patients in public hospitals.

Findings reveal that some of the PHCs are overcrowded by clients or are not patronized by clients due to distance, or insufficient health personnel and infrastructure.

Jankasa village, which lies between Kujama and Chikun Local Governmnet Areas of Kaduna state is a typical example of a village deprived of infrastructural developments. It is located off 25km Kaduna-Kachia road.

With a population of over 300 people, Jankasa has three major tribes – Kadara, Fulani and Gbaygi and farming is the major occupation of the residents.

According to the village Youth leader, Garba gajere, the community has been in existence for over 50 years and had never enjoyed any form of infrastructural development.

He said the community lacks health facility to take their pregnant wives and children to when the need arises; noting that, during emergencies, they take the patient on a motor cycle covering a distance of 15km to access a health facility.

He said, “for instance when a woman’s labour come at night, we use motor cycle in company of four to five others as escort to covey her to hospital because the road is not safe; but most time they give birth at home with the help of other women.”

Gajere further pointed out that they have lost two women in 2015 during childbirth as a result of complications that arose beyond the women’s’ control in the village.

He however called on both the local and state government to come to their rescue by building a health facility in Jankasa as they have vast land to offer for the development of a clinic.

A pregnant woman, Mrs. Tina Iliya, who also resides in the community called on government to build a health facility in the area. She said they do not have even a chemist to procure Panadol or take their children to when they fall sick.

To Mrs. Iliya, health facility visit for antenatal is unappealing to her; she hopes to deliver at home. She said, “I hope to deliver at home when my time is due. For instance, I don’t go for antenatal because of distance; I do not know my expectant date of delivery, so I am just hoping when it comes, I will deliver at home.”

Another woman, Rhoda Ezekiel, a mother of two, and breastfeeding a baby, said in her last pregnancy, she went for antenatal thrice at the general hospital in Kujama where she gave birth, but however called on government to set up a functional PHCs closer to people in rural areas so as to save women from maternal death.

It is worthy of note that there is no single Traditional Birth Attendant in Jankasa village.

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