Daily Trust (Abuja)

3 July 2012

Nigeria: Influx of Persons Hinders Free Maternal Health Care

Bauchi — The Bauchi State Commissioner of Health, Alhaji Sani Malami, has identified challenges militating against the Free Maternal Health Care Programme established in the state three years ago.

The Commissioner who disclosed this over the weekend during a briefing at the Bauchi state secretariat said some of the challenges include increase in population, stealing of drugs at the health centers and non-implementation of the programmes in neighboring states.

Malami Said, "the free Maternal health programmes was implemented in the state three years ago with a view to assisting pregnant women and children under the age of five gain access to drugs and other health care services free of charge, but overtime, we have noticed that there have been a lot of problems associated with the programme.

He said that due to crisis in neighbouring states, there have been influx of people into the state which has increased the number of pregnant women in the state.

Malami added that "The influx of women from these states has contributed to shortfall of the drugs at the health facilities and this does not correspond with the budget for the state". He added

The Commissioner lamented the manner in which some people steal hospital drugs at the health centres , this according to him has also truncated the efforts of the state government in rendering effective health services to the people.

He noted that no health service can be hundred percent free to the people, and appealed to the people of the state to report to the relevant health authorities, anyone caught stealing or selling the drugs at the hospitals.

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