By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Worried by poor attendance of pregnant women to primary health centres in Akwa Ibom State, a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Samuel Ibe has launched a campaign to create awareness on the need to reverse the trend.
Ibe who said he was moved to launch the campaign after he noticed that though the health centre located at Ikot Ayan, in Uyo, the state capital was well equipped with drugs and modern medical facilities, yet the attendance by the community was poor also said he was worried by the trend.
Speaking at Ikot Ayan health centre shortly after the lunch of the campaign which included a health talk, free medical service, the unveiling of a new signpost for the health facility, the corps member expressed sadness that women instead of making use of the health facility preferred the services of Traditional Birth Attendants (BTA) and religious organisations.
“I have been in this community for some months and noticed that there is a good health facility but the community does not come for their health needs at the health centre
‘The community participation is very low, most time; women come to register for the Ante Natal Care services but prefer to give birth in their homes.
‘The campaign is to sensitize the people on the need to avail themselves of the services provided at the health centre,’’ he said.
Ibe, a graduate of public health from the University of Calabar expressed appreciation to those who supported the sensitization campaign which he said included public spirited individuals and churches saying the campaign including the new signpost which was also unveiled during the campaign launch and the free medical service were executed at a cost of N375,000.
Commenting on the project, Grace Uyoe, the Primary Health Coordinator of the local government said the state government might be forced to close down the health facility if the poor attendance continued.
Uyoe who stressed the importance of a regular health check to prevent untimely death appealed to the community for a change of attitude.
According to her, if the poor attendance persists, the state government could post the health workers to another hospital in the local government.
She also raised the issue of the high prevalence rate of HIV in the state and urged the people to know their HIV status to enable them prevent the further spread of the virus.
In his remarks, Oluwole Amuson, NYSC state director represented by Gabriel Unachukwu, head of community development service commended the corps member for the ‘legacy he has said in his community’ describing his contribution as being part of the core cardinal programmes of the NYSC.
He urged the community to make use of the health facility to sustain the campaign saying Ibe has made the NYSC proud.
It was gathered that both routine immunization and the recent child health week activities in the health centre recorded poor response.
The event was attended by an official of the NYSC as well as the coordinator of primary health care in the local government among other dignitaries.