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Pregnant women stranded over alleged halt of antenatal services in Edo hospital

Pregnant women stranded over alleged halt of antenatal services in Edo hospital

Women at different stages of pregnancy in Edo State were on Wednesday were left stranded due to alleged halt in antenatal care services at the maternity ward of the state owned-central hospital Benin City.

The pregnant women, who were scheduled to visit the antenatal care clinic on Wednesday (today) were purportedly ordered by the nurses on duty to return in January next year following a directive from the state government.

Aggrieved after spending part of the early hours of the day unattended to, the expectant mothers marched to the Edo State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), to air their grievances, lamenting that the situation, which has led to an abrupt shift of their appointments date, places them at risk.

Speaking on behalf of the expectant mothers, Happy Imafidon said: “When we got there this morning, the nurses said from today, which is December 22, that there will be no antenatal care because it has been closed till January 2022.

“They told us that anyone in labor should go to the labor ward. We asked what if anyone has issues before January, they told us to go to private hospitals because it is an order from the government.

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She added, “We voted for the governor to deliver on his promises; so, we can’t be suffering after paying taxes.”

But, Obehi Akoria, Edo State commissioner for health said that it was a failure on the part of the nurses to convey the messages adequately to the patients, adding that the pregnant women were not barred from receiving care.

Akoria, while noting that the government has made proper arrangements to take care of pregnant women, instructed that they should be taken to the hospital with the hospital’s vehicles.

According to her, “we joined antenatal with the labor ward so that all will be in the same place. That is the plan. We will ensure the nurses communicate to you all properly. They didn’t pass the message well”.

Similarly, Duncan Iyawe, medical director of central hospital, apologized for the stress, saying that it was as a result of miscommunication because there is an ongoing renovation at the hospital.

“The nurses were supposed to attend to you and give the date and location for the next appointment. We didn’t drive you from the central hospital. Upon your return to the hospital today, you will be booked and told the date and location when to come,” Iyawe said.

Pregnant women protesting over alleged stoppage of antenatal care services at the central hospital Benin City, Wednesday