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 childbirth. 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’ organised by Advocacy Nigeria in collaboration with WRAPA and Mac Arthur Foundation.
Bature said the state had 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 per cent, concentrated in Gusau, the state capital, leaving the other 13 local government areas with over four 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, which she said has made the country to fall below the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard.
Ahmed said Nigeria was 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, which is 449 more deaths than the average for the country,” she said.
Ahmed decried that Nigeria has never met African Union (AU) benchmark for health, which is 15 per cent of a country budget as the federal government in 2018 budget allocated N340 billion, representing 3.9 per cent of the N8.6 Trillion budget.
“In Zamfara, the story is not much different. In 2017, the state allocated N5.1 billion (5.3 per cent) 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 governorship candidates for 2019 elections to intimate people with their plans for sustainable health care delivery in the state, saying good health was paramount to development.
The four governorship candidates who attended the town hall promised to ensure that the health sector gets desired attention, with the view to providing qualitative health care delivery in the state.