By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Community Leader of Madamai in Kaura LGA of Kaduna State Mr. Andrew Lekwot says the use of wheel-barrow and stretchers as a means of transportation for women who are in labour to hospitals for delivery has become a norm in the community.
According to him, the hilly village just like most rural communities in Nigeria is been deprived of basic infrastructures such as good roads, electricity, portable drinking water and a standard healthcare centers.
Report Circle made the discovery during a community media tour to Madami community in Kpak ward of Kaura Local Government Area of Southern Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria, which is made up of Madamai I and Madamai II with about 8500 people who are mostly farmers. They cultivate mostly Yam, Okro, Maize, ginger and a local bean known as ‘waken Mada’.
Mr. Lekwot continue to lament that the slippery nature of the road into Madamai especially during rainy season makes it difficult for vehicles and motorcycle to ply, wheel barrow becomes the best form of mobility to transport any pregnant woman who is in labor or any emergency cases to the major road or nearest hospital. The nearest hospital to the community is Turaki Bugai memorial hospital and Kaura General Hospital which is both located about five kilometers away from the community.
During the tour, through Voice to the People (V2P) and Christian Aid Nigeria which seek to devise measures that improve the lives and conditions of targeted groups also learnt because of the bad road, it has become difficult for development to come into the community, “Mr. Lekwot said since 8 years now, they have not experienced electricity from the Government but one Honorable Member, Representative Kaura Constituency, Honorable Gideon Gwani on political promise brought 10 electric poles to connect light for the people was nowhere to be found or heard since, the poles have been laying there and rusting”.
To confirm his story, Report Circle engaged the community women in a discussion who are being carried with the wheel-barrow through their Women Leader, Mrs Madeline Akwok who is a mother of five, said she give birth to all her children at home without any help aside her mother in-law and with the help of God.
She narrated that her last child was born on a wheel barrow, “adding that even if you go to the PHC within the community, there is nobody there to attend to you”. But we have recorded many infant and maternal mortality deaths, bleeding even still-birth babies”.
“Some women even die or lose their born of unborn child due lack of access to modern equipped facility health care system, lack of health care providers, doctors and other consumables and commodities even free drugs cannot reach them. But the change is when V2P came to our community we can now speak up and ask question even our attitudes so l think if the government can help repair the road for us so that it can be motorable it will be a big bread through in our lives” she said.
“The small health facility we have built, there is no health provider to attend to the women, there are no free drugs or even the one we can buy and good toilet. When the group went to see the health facility, it is something that eye cannot behold because it is filled with curb webs, smells like hell and the forms on bed is filled with bedbugs.
Investigation by Report Circle also shows that the adolescents in the community are being raped because nobody will speak or educate them, a 17 year old girl by name Galadima Faith, a student of Government School Madamai who stood boldly to narrate their ordeal said most of the girls came back with unintended pregnancy and are dropped out.
“How, l wish there is more education for the girls to live their lives, the victims would not have gotten into troubles because they have dropped out of the school, they are nursing babies without any source of living. So, many girls suffer a lot of rape cases. Just last month, two girls died because of abortion because of wrong prescription and due untrained medical professionals. One of them, when she came back, because of bleeding, before they could rush her to the nearest hospital, she gave up”.
“I wish we could have people that can educate us on issues of our health, rape, child abuse. Those drop out in the village don’t have anything to do only sitting at home which led to rape and unintended pregnant’ she said.
Earlier in her remarks, the Executive Director, League of Democratic Women (LEADS) and Team Leader to Madamai Community, Barrister Rebecca Sako-John informed that they have been working at the village since 2016 courtesy of the V2P project saying within the short period, a lot of success has been recorded.
While the Village Head, Mr. Galadima Bulus equally buttressed the point by appealing to local government authorities to help them solve the water issue in the area. “Presently we, our women and the kids always suffer from typhoid. We think it has to do with the water we drink. So we need help from meaningful individuals and government” he said.
He explained that the only clinic in the village was built by the people in the community because they didn’t know when the Local and state governments will provide them with one in the area. “When we built the community clinic, the government sent us two health workers to be assisting us. But they are always not available in the clinic to assist women during childbirth.
“They are not always in the clinic because they are not comfortable with our road especially during rainy season. They always complain there are no drugs to give to the people and pregnant women too are not allowed to deliver babies in the clinic”. He said.