Pregnant women attending antenatal at the Edo State Central Hospital on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest over the alleged closure of the antenatal clinic in the hospital.
The women, who protested to the secretariat of the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of journalists, said the nurses declined to attend to them when they visited the hospital in the morning.
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The spokesperson for the women, Happy Imafidon, said they were asked to come on January 11, 2021, without attending to them.
“Today, when we came for antenatal care, the nurses told us that they have closed the antenatal care in central hospital and that we should come January 11.
“When we asked her where do we go, she said any pregnant woman that has a problem should give the husband her small card and should go and look for the big card at the General Outpatients Department and take to the labour ward,” she said.
According to her, “the nurse said it is on January 11 2022, that we would know our fate whether we will still be attending antenatal in the hospital or not and that whoever has an issue among us should go to a private hospital for treatment.
“She thereafter told us that the antenatal care has been closed by the government and that we should go and ask the governor.”
Also speaking, Egharevba Enabulele, said they were not happy about the way and manner the nurses were treating them during the antenatal service.
“I was number 70 on the queue waiting to see a doctor and suddenly, they told us that the place is closed and that our husband should be coming with us to be looking for our files.
“So, we decided to come to NUJ to ask our governor whether we are slaves because we all voted for him and he is a father to all”.
Responding, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Duncan Iyawe, attributed the development to lapses in communication.
“We have not closed down antenatal service, we are making a renovation.
“The nurse suppose to examine you and give a date for you to come and when you come on your next appointment date, they will tell you the new place,” he said.
He said anyone that has issues should go to the labour ward pending when the place is completed.
On her part, the state commissioner of health, Obehi Akoria, said the antenatal clinic of the hospital has not been shut.
“The clinic has been merged with labour ward and work is ongoing in the new place for the clinic.
“We want the antenatal clinic and labour ward to be in the same place for pregnant women,” she said.