Yesterday, May 4, over 200 pregnant women came to the House of Assembly and Government House in Benin City to protest over inability to register for antenatal care in government hospitals across Edo State.
The expectant women also complained of lack of facilities at the laboratories of the Benin Central Hospital.
According to one of the protesters, she and her colleagues registered for ante-natal care for the past two months but still could not see a doctor for proper examination. Moreover, the doctors claimed they don’t have equipment to conduct tests, without tests they can’t make diagnosis.
Another pregnant woman, Rabi Yusuf, stated she and others even weren’t allowed to register for ante-natal care at the hospital for the past two months as they were told that there were ‘no equipment to register.’
As the protesters came to the state House of Assembly and Government House to register their grievances, Deputy Chief of Staff, Stephen Idehenre, assured them that their message would be conveyed to Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
According to anonymous staff member at the antenatal unit of the Benin Central Hospital, the hospital had registered over 100 pregnant women for ante-natal care for the week but they don’t have enough personnel to cater for the increasing number of expectant women.
It was gathered that a recent government policy requiring all hospitals to pay their internally generated revenue into government’s coffers from where running costs would be disbursed to them, has adversely affected operations of many hospitals in the state.
For example, medical tests for malaria, typhoid and other illnesses are currently conducted outside the hospital by patients wishing to see doctors at the hospital.
A management staff at the Benin Central Hospital confessed that the hospital is down and nothing is working as the hospital only has N200,000 as running cost.
Reacting to the protest, the state Commissioner for Health, Heregie Aihanuwa said the government was working toward resolving all issues at the Central hospital.
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