By; MOHAMMED MUNIRAT NASIR, Gusau
The Nigerian Medical Association (MMA), Zamfara State chapter has decried the high rate of mortality rate in the state leading to the death of 30 pregnant women daily during child birth.
This was contained in a paper presented by the Zamfara chapter Vice Chairman, Dr Mannir Bature Tsafe at the Town Hall Meeting with governorship candidates with the theme ‘Our Government Our Health’ organized by Advocacy Nigeria in collaboration with WRAPA and Mac Arthur Foundation.
Bature said the state has a record of Women of Child Bearing Age (WCBA) population of 1,014,136 records 11,000 Child Maternal Deaths annually and 30 pregnant women death daily due to the gross inadequate manpower and equipment coupled with inadequate funding by the government.
He lamented that Zamfara state with a population of 4.7 million according to the 2017 projection spread across the 14 local government areas has only 345 medical doctors with 270 of them representing 78% concentrated in Gusau the state capital leaving the other 13 local government areas with over 4 million people with just 75 doctors.
“If not for donor agencies intervention, health care would have collapsed in Zamfara”, he said.
The Project Officer, Advocacy Nigeria, Mrs Larai Jibrin Ahmed chided the government for not paying deserved attention to the health sector making the country to fall below the World Health Organization (WHO) standard.
Ahmed said Nigeria is rated 187 out of 191 countries in terms of health care delivery with the third highest numbers of maternal mortality in the world.
“Sadly as of 2014, Zamfara state was worse in even shape with 1025 deaths for every 100,000 live birth, 449 more deaths than the average for the country”, she said.
Ahmed decried that Nigeria has never met African Union set bench mark for health which is 15 % of a country budget as the federal government in 2018 budget allocated N340 Billion representing 3.9% of the N8.6 Trillion budget.
“In Zamfara, the story is not much different; in 2017 the state allocated N5.1 Billion (5.3%) of its budget to health and in 2018, the same N5 Billion was allocated for health even when the overall total of the budget increased from N115 Billion to N130 Billion”, she said.
In his welcome address the state coordinator, Advocacy Nigeria, Malam Rabiu Sambo said the town hall meeting was to enable the governorship candidates to intimate people about their plans for sustainable health care delivery in the state as good health is Paramount to development.
The four governorship candidates who attended the town hall promised to ensure that the health sector gets desired attention needed to provide qualitative health care delivery in the state.