At least 30 pregnant women die daily in Zamfara State, the vice chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in the state, Dr Mannir Bature, has disclosed.
Bature spoke at a town hall meeting with the state’s governorship candidates with the theme “Our Government, Our Health”, organized by Advocacy Nigeria for improved maternal health and children Initiative.
He said the high rate of child and maternal mortality rate in the state was due to the general failure in the effective health care delivery system in the state.
“In Zamfara state today, with the population of over 4 million, there is 1 medical doctor to 1,000 residents as against the WHO standard of 5 skilled personnel to 1,000 population,” he added.
He said the state had 345 doctors and Gusau City with the population of 600,000 out of more than four million had 275 doctors; while the remaining 13 local government areas shared only 75 doctors.
Speaking on the infrastructure and basic equipment at hospitals across the state, Bature said none of the primary and secondary hospitals had equipment like nebulizer, oxygen, suction machines and ultra sound machines.
He said in the state ministry of health, there was no functional vehicle in the department of regulation and inspection.
“There is no neonatal care unit in any primary or secondary hospital in the state and even the manpower development policy such as training and retraining of health personnel has been abandoned.
“Other problems impeding the progress of health care delivery in the state include poor remuneration and lack of motivation for the heath personnel. That is why whenever there is an invitation for applications by any of the federal medical facility, you would see Zamfara health personnel living in droves,” he added.
He described the financial provisions to health sector in the state as grossly inadequate, saying that healthcare system in the state was largely donor-driven.
When contacted, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Lawali Liman referred our reporter to the permanent secretary in the ministry.
But the permanent secretary, Dr Habib Yelwa, said he could not react until he talked to the commissioner.