From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse
Pregnant women attending ante-natal care in Birnin Kudu local government area have charged the duo of state and local governments to support their plight against the payments of exorbitant hospital fees before being attended to.
The women, made the charge during an exhibition visit on Tuesday by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), under the aegis of Development Communications (DEVCOMS), at the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kudu.
One of pregnant women, Amina Kassim, who came for anti-natal care in the hospital, explained to Peoples Daily that what usually discouraged women from attending clinics for their regular ante-natal was as a result of extra ordinary fees being charged by the hospital.
She said although her husband could afford to pay the N2,000 compulsory fee the hospital charges too much for the ante-natal, stressing that many women have been turned away due to the recent hike in the charges.
She said two years ago, the hospital charged only N200 per patient for the entire period of a woman’s ante natal; however, according to her, the charges were suddenly jerked up to N2,000, a situation she said that has forced women to look elsewhere for the services.
Meanwhile, the Jigawa state coordinator of the DEVCOM NGO Hajiya Binta Umar stressed that ,it is about time that women particularly those from the rural communities in the state embrace the patronage of ante natal programmes of the state in order to reduce the level of maternal mortality.