The Gombe State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (GSPHCDA), says it has recorded 27 per cent increase in the number of women accessing antenatal and post natal healthcare services in the past five years.
Dr Abduraham Shuaibu, the Executive Secretary of the agency, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday in Gombe.
Shuaibu said that the feat was achieved since inception of the Village Health Worker scheme in 2016 in the state.
He said that hospital delivery and antenatal care had increased to 67 per cent as against 40 and 47 per cent before the introduction of the programme.
He noted that the initiative was a collaborative effort between the state government, Society for Family Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “
It is design to address the low uptake of maternal and neonatal services in the state. “The village health workers are trained to conduct health talk in their respective communities to encourage women to visit health facilities and access quality healthcare services. “
It is aimed at reducing the rate of maternal and under-5 mortality, identify danger signs in pregnant woman and refer them to the nearest health facility for proper treatment. “
They also administer folic acid and fecolate to expectant mothers,” he said.
According to him, the state government has deployed 1,188 village health workers to the 57 wards across the state, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic thwarted plans to engage more workers in the remaining 57 wards.
He said the state government was paying N7,000 monthly stipend to each of the workers to enable them to discharge their duties effectively. “
UNICEF plans to retrain them and change the name from Village Health Workers to Community Health Influencers.” (NAN)