The Guardian (Lagos)

25 August 2014

Nigeria: Abuja Community Decries Lack of Healthcare Facilities

KATAMPE 1 is one of the numerous settlements in the suburbs of Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) situated in Mpape town Bwari Local Council

It lies on the famous Mpape rocks that are easily sighted from the closest neighbouring district of Maitama.

Like most communities in the Federal Capital Territory, the original inhabitants of Katampe are the Gbagis.

Sequel to the on-going implementation of the FCT administration's master-plan for Abuja, residents affected by series of demolition of illegal buildings in several places, find it convenient taking up new homes here because of cheap rentals.

However, when MacArthur Foundation took some journalists to the village recently, the residents complained of lack of hospital facilities.

The situation has become so worrisome that the villagers have to go out to major cities in the FCT to seek for medical services especially the nursing mothers who have to stroll a long distance to obtain antenatal service.

It was revealed that the community has recorded some deaths of children due to the situation of the healthcare system in the community.

Some of the dwellers also expressed sadness that they lack good roads and other social amenities.

Adamu Diga, the Chief of the Katampe 1, said: "We do not have health facilities here. Katampe has taken a long time in its existence. Some people have promised to bring a medical center here but we are yet to see them. Since the beginning of the village there has never been a hospital here. Sometimes when emergency happens we use to take them to Mpape or Maitaima hospital."

"One of the things that is bothering us in this village is hospital clinic. As you can see now we have light and we have water, " he said.

Hadiza Sani, a mother of three, said: "If government wants to do something for us , I would want them to build hospital and road . Sometime if I am in labour, because there is no hospital in this village, I will enter bike and go to Maitaima hospital."

She also revealed that because of the absence of hospital in the village, they have resorted to traditional way of giving birth.

" Some of us used to give birth at home because we don't have any hospital here and sometimes, when a woman is seriously in labour, some women will come and help her deliver."

Serah Tanka, 39 , mother of five children also said that due to lack of health care facilities in the village, she has been delivering her children at home

" If government can build a hospital here, we will be happy so that we can stop giving birth at home because sometimes when some women want to give birth at home, they end up losing their children which is not good after carrying our baby for nine months."

Obinna Aneke , a trader in the village said building a hospital in the village would help them even as he lamented that some of the women don't have money to go to hospital in the town.

Also Jaicita Omego , a nurse in the village, said that she has helped most of the women deliver their children in her home.

She also asked the government to train her to higher level so that she could help with better delivery of the children.

" I have delivered many children in my house here and no woman has ever died in my hand. They use to come to my house to deliver because there is no hospital to deliver their children here. I use to collect N3, 000 from them because some of them don't have money to go to the city centre where there is hospital."

"I want the government to train me to a higher level than I am today so that I can serve them better because they need help," she appealed.

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