Some pregnant women have appealed to the Federal Government to meet the needs of the striking resident doctors so they can return to work and offer healthcare services to Nigerians.
The women made the call on Saturday in Abuja at an outreach for pregnant women by the Help Africans Charity Network, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Reliablesource reports that the doctors under the aegis of Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) embarked on an indefinite strike on July 26, after several ultimatums issued to the Federal Government to meet their demands.
The women said that access to healthcare delivery especially for pregnant women was very essential as they may need to see a doctor at any time during the duration of the pregnancy .
Some of the women were of the opinion that having to patronise private hospitals in a period of economic hardship that some of them are going through may hinder them from gaining access to the needed healthcare.They, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to meet the needs of the striking doctors very fast to avert avoidable casualties.
One of them, Mrs Hulda Adebayo, said that the government could do more to improve the health sector because it has all the necessary resources to make things better.
“There are a lot of people who are suffering and the government has the resources to put things in order.
“People, especially pregnant women, need to see the doctor when they come to the hospital, so how do you explain to them that doctor is not on seat, she may even be in labour and needs to be attended to urgently.
“Government should attend to the doctors and give them what they want so that they can go back to work,” she said.
Another pregnant woman, Mrs Oluchi Ejiagu, said that government hospitals are very affordable for the ordinary Nigerian which makes it the preferred healthcare destination for most of them.
According to her, the state of the economy makes it hard to patronise private hospitals, hence the reason many opt for government hospitals which has reduced cost for treatment.
“However, when the doctors are on strike it becomes very difficult for women to access health care.
“So I want the government to do something about these doctors because if they are not there most women do not have the money to access private hospitals so they will find it difficult to access healthcare.
“Imagine that you normally pay N5, 000 for your health care needs as a pregnant woman and all of a sudden you are asked to pay N45, 000 in a private hospital for the same healthcare provisions.
“It is a big deal. So, we want the doctors to come back so that we can access health care.”
The Founder of the NGO, Mr Owen Obakpolo, said the aim of the outreach was to give nursing mothers and pregnant women a sense of belonging in the face of the harsh economic situation of the country.
According to him, the NGO which began its operations in Australia aims to add its quota to help in reducing poverty in Africa.
It has therefore carried out outreaches in Liberia, Kenya and some states in Nigeria.
Mrs Stella Adejo, the FCT Coordinator, advised pregnant women to adhere strictly to instructions from their nurses and doctors during antenatal and urged them to observe exclusive breastfeeding especially, during the first six months of life.
Reliablesource reports that some of the items distributed were baby diapers, clothes and wrappers.