The Mayo Belwa director for Maternal and Child Health (MCH), Fatima Hammanjoda, has praised EU-UNICEF, over the significant impact their medical intervention has made in the local government saying the four-year-long intervention has made it a reality for thousands of locals especially in six hard to reach wards in the LGA to access quality and functional Heath care services.
Fatima explained that, “Despite the shortage of medical workers in the local government where there is only one doctor, one nurse and one midwife, EU-UNICEF have been able to train about one hundred (100) Community Oriented Resource Persons ( (CORPS) as local medical helpers in an innovative effort to deliver functional and practical healthcare to hundreds of thousands of Adamawa locals residing in communities generally classified as hard-to-reach communities.”
She said, “In Mayo Belwa local government alone, there are about one hundred CORPS drawn from various communities and trained and equipped by UNICEF to diagnose and treat common illnesses like fever, diarrhoea, common cold and malnutrition among local communities and to also help members of their communities access medical interventions before their condition deteriorate, all these free of charge.”
Speaking to Daily Sun, the Mayo Belwa local government director of MCH, Fatima Hammanadama said, “There are about twelve wards in the local government and six of them are hard to reach due to their terrain and/or distance.
“We have two hundred and seventy two health workers in Mayo Belwa but only one is a doctor, one nurse and one midwife.”
“EU and UNICEF has changed the scale and context of health care delivery here with drugs and facilities that has made some facilities in terms of maternal and infant care equivalent to some of the facilities we have at the specialist hospital in Yola.
“In the integrated health service delivery, we always have a team of four who on a weekly basis visit and assess the quality of work, one health community worker, one Community Health Extension Worker (CHEW), one Junior Community Health Extension Worker (J-CHEW) and any other person in the facility, whom we provide with transport to carry out specific task.
“Because of this intervention things have changed positively here because we used to have ten to fifteen malnutrition cases in a day in almost every community but now we hardly have a case diagnosed in our communities.
“In the past, most of our women used to die in childbirth but now instead of four visits from health workers, they get eight which helps detect and diagnose any signs of dangers and most of the deaths are preventable.
“Imagine that here in this local government and in our primary healthcare centers all over Mayo Belwa, we have resuscitation machines that if a child was born unable to breath, the machines can be used to support them and prevent unnecessary deaths.
“These are facilities that the specialist hospital in Yola don’t have but rural women and children are benefiting from them.
“We have to some extent stopped recording still births because it hardly happens,” she said.
Fatima added that, “Before the coming of EU and UNICEF many of our CHEWS do not know how to professionally manage deliveries but now they can manage them well, even the third stage of labour perfectly because of trainings they enjoyed.
“Our labour rooms are well equipped compared to other standard labour rooms at the city centers.
“Before they would attribute these infants and maternal deaths to witchcraft or when a child is delivered they would apply cow dung, salt, charcoal or MacLean toothpaste to the umbilical chords but all these dangerous behaviors and practices have been changed due to the massive support and reach we have been able to attain because of this intervention.”
Speaking on the challenges of healthcare deleivery she said, “I know the difference between then and now and we are living a blessed life because of this amazing intervention.
“Remove all EU-UNICEF facilities from our PHCC’S, our facilities would be nothing anyone would love to come to.
“Our major challenge has been the funding of the PHCC, we have a new government in Adamawa state and it is expedient that they step in and further support this good practice that is saving lives of the common man at no cost.
“They should also support the huge funding by the EU and UNICEF or else, when the life span of this intervention elapses, the entire system will come crashing down.
“We also have gross inadequacy of professional man power.”