COVID-19 pandemic is threatening access to modern child birth spacing services and reproductive health as majority of primary healthcare centres (PHCs) are running out of stock of family planning drugs and consumables for their clients.
Hundreds of rural women of child bearing age were seen in their numbers waiting to be attended to for the child birth spacing and reproductive health services in the PHCs amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
However, many of the centres are now facing challenges of lack of drugs such as injectables, oral pills, implanon and jadelle for their clients.
The situation is threatening services and endangering the lives of women and children..
Mariya Munkaila, who is in charge of the Child Birth Spacing Unit of the Magama Gumau facility, said that over 170 women visited the clinic in April to access the services but their major challenge was that they were running out of injectables and oral pills.
A client, who visited the Magama Gumau PHC for the first time to access child birth spacing services, Aisha Ibrahim, told Northeast Trust that she and husband decided to embrace child birth spacing.
“I have four children and I came to the clinic and they have counseled and enlightened me on the types and processes of child birth spacing but they asked me to return next week to check for the drugs.”
The maternity officer incharge of Magama PHC, Anna Bala, attributed the turnout of women to access child birth spacing services to the awareness creation, saying the response was encouraging despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
She however, identified lack of commodities, consumables, and manpower as some of the challenges affecting the services at the facility.
A similar situation was reported at Nabardo PHC with many women seen trying to access the child birth spacing services.
The nurse in charge of the centre, Fatima Dan Mallam, said the COVID -19 pandemic did not affect the turnout of women seeking child birth spacing service, however they were facing shortages of drugs and other consumables.
A mother of eight, Lami Danlami said that she embraced child birth spacing because of its health benefits to her children.
Also speaking, one of the volunteers Kulu Abubakar, said the COVID-19 pandemic was now threatening the successes of the programme.
When contacted the Bauchi State Family Planning Coordinator, Hajara Yahaya, confirmed the shortage of the commodities in the state.
“The challenge is global because in the last few months the drugs are being rationed so from time to time there is shortage of the commodities especially when the demand has increased.”
She explained that the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused delays in sending reports on the distribution of the commodities.
`We just submitted our report last week and hopefully by next week the commodities will be distributed across the PHCs.”