BillyGraham Abel, Yola
No fewer than 90,000 pregnant women in the country have benefitted from the Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS), a scheme designed to transport them to various healthcare facilities, Society for Family Health (SFH) has said.
The fundamental aim of the project which was anchored by the SFH and Transaid, was to mitigate maternal and infant mortality.
Deputy Managing Director, Society for Family Health, Jennifer Anyanti, made the remarks at the dissemination meeting of the Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) with stakeholders in Yola, Adamawa State.
Anyanti said 12 states in Nigeria working with the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) had been implementing the Emergency Transport Scheme and that three more states of Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto was also set to begin to implement the scheme.
Anyanti said, “ETS is designed to address issues of delay encountered in transporting pregnant women to available health facilities.”
She commended the Adamawa state government and the NURTW for setting in the pace in the ETS project which has recorded resounding success and that the lessons learnt from the state will be implemented in other states in the country.
Sam Clark, head of programmes, Transaid said the enthusiasm with which the Emergency Transport Scheme was received in Adamawa state was key to its success in saving many lives in the state.
He commended the ETS drivers and members of the community for embracing the project and for their commitment to improving maternal health and saving lives.
Clarks; words, “Emergency Transport Scheme has transported about 18000 pregnant women to 12 healthcare facilities in the state and has contributed significantly in saving lives and reducing maternal and child mortality in Adamawa State.”
Giving an overview of the project in Adamawa state, Micheal Enenche explained that, “16 local governments in Adamawa state have been implementing the Emergency Transport Scheme since July, 2013 and that the scheme has about 40 drivers in each of the 16 local governments in the state and a total of about 640 drivers state wide.
“We have been able to transport 18,558 pregnant women to healthcare facilities and 70℅ of the trained 640 volunteer drivers on the scheme have transported at least one pregnant woman within six months.”
Micheal said pregnant women in IDPs camp in the state have benefited from the transport service and that data has shown that attendance to antenatal programs have risen as a result of the contribution of the scheme among other factors.
Edward O’Connor explained that research conducted by Transaid shows that ETS is most used by those who are economically vulnerable and that of the 150 pregnant women interviewed, ETS has helped most of them and their baby get to health facilities in a better health condition than those who did not use the scheme.
O’Connor notes that of the 150 women interviewed, about 75℅ had experienced at least one birth complications and that ETS has organized successful transportation within one hour of 99℅ of the time it has been called upon.
The representative of NURTW, Kefas Dogonyaro said, the union is proud to work with Society for Family Health and Transaid to combat maternal and infant morality.
Dogonyaro said, the union remains committed to helping pregnant women get to health facilities and will continue to use its union nationwide to push forward the noble ideal of the scheme.
He said, NURTW would continue to sustain its incentive to volunteer drivers in order to save lives.
He said they are not weakened with the withdrawal of funding partners because the union is ready play it’s part in sustaining the project.