Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has carried out 90,000 deliveries, and 6,000 successful Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) repairs in Jigawa State towards reducing maternal morbidity and mortality in the state.
Medical Operations Senior Manager of MSF, Dr Marie-Hortense Koudika, at a press conference in Abuja after a workshop in collaboration with the Jigawa state government.
MSF, which is also known as Doctors Without Borders, is an international non-governmental organisation that provides humanitarian medical care.
Koudika said the organisation also carried out 18,000 C-sections, 143,000 hospitalizations and 19,000 newborn admissions at the Jahun General Hospital in Jigawa State in collaboration with the Jigawa State government in the last 15 years.
Head of mission MSF, Abdel Kader Issaly, said only half of pregnant women in Jigawa State attend antenatal with most of them delivering at home thereby making them susceptible to complications.
The Commissioner of Health Jigawa State, Dr Muhammed Adbullahi Kainuwa said the Jigawa State government was working towards scaling up maternal health services across all facilities in the 27 local government areas of the state.
He said as a result of MSF intervention, patients come from neighbouring states like Kano, Katsina and even Niger Republic to access maternal care services.
MSF started its fistula repair project at the Jahub General Hospital in 2008, according to a statement, which added that: “However, over the years, the project evolved to provide comprehensive emergency maternal obstetrics and neonatal care (CEmONC) and support to the ministry of health in the hospital. MSF is also intervening by supporting basic emergency maternal obstetrics and neonatal care (BEmONCs) in four primary health facilities in Jahun, Aujara, Miga and Taura.
“From January to June, MSF team provides 19,894 women with ante-natal care, recorded 143 vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) patient admissions and conducted 162 VVF surgeries.”
The international medical aid group, Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF), hosted a three-day workshop between Monday, October 23 and Wednesday October 25 in Nigeria’s federal capital territory, Abuja, on ‘Reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in Jigawa State, Northwest Nigeria.’
The event brought together major stakeholders to dissect the impact the 15-year Jahun project has had in Jigawa state, and to draw a roadmap on the way forward.
Over 60 representatives from MSF, the Jigawa state, and federal government officials, as well as members of other humanitarian organisations, were in attendance to brainstorm ways to expand access to healthcare and improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in the state.
During one of the sessions, Dr Muhammad Abdullahi Kainuwa, the Jigawa state Commissioner of Health, highlighted how limited resources had put a great strain on the quality of healthcare, stating that a health budget of upto ₦75 million allocated in the state per month still isn’t enough to cover the needs of the state.
Kainuwa said that: “We have to look at how the funds are being used in line with policies and frameworks put in place to prevent wastage and to ensure it is spent accordingly. The money is to be used judiciously and appropriately,” he said.
He also mentioned limited human resources, in terms of qualified medical personnel on the ground in rural areas.
“The burden of diseases is mostly in the rural areas. 70 per cent of Jigawa state are living in rural areas. More needs to be done, such as sending more medical staff to rural areas with improvement of welfare, pay and living situations. We need to find how to retain qualified medical staff to remain in the rural areas.”