TOPSHOT - A nurse from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) surgical unit in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, on November 19, 2022 speaks with Rebecca Nzengi, 22, while receiving medical care after being wounded with a machete to the head. - Since October 2022, fighting, sometimes in populated areas, has resumed between the army and the M23 rebellion, accused by a United Nations report of being supported by the Rwandan army. People wounded during the conflict managed to reach the city of Goma and are cared for by the ICRC. The international organisation denounces the absence of a humanitarian corridor that allows the wounded to cross the front line, some 20 kilometers north of the city. (Photo by ALEXIS HUGUET / AFP) (Photo by ALEXIS HUGUET/AFP via Getty Images)

The lack of the state government’s free prenatal and child delivery services at certain general hospitals and primary healthcare centers in the state has drawn criticism from some Lagos residents.

In different interviews, the residents on Sunday in Lagos talked with the News Agency of Nigeria.

According to NAN, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State, announced during a media chat on February 22nd that the state would be implementing broad interventions to lessen the effects of the current economic hardship on its citizens.

Sanwo-Olu reinstated the free child delivery program for expectant mothers in all state-owned general hospitals and specialty maternity centers.

The cost of child delivery, including the caesarean section, will be covered by the state government, the governor confirmed.

The price of some medications, like those for hypertension, would also go down.Claiming that the hospitals charged for each service provided, the residents said that the free prenatal and child delivery services were lip service.

Ikorodu Health Center in Ita-Elewa was reported to charge for deliveries by Mrs. Funmilayo Olatunji, a trader who worked there.

“In February 2024, I gave birth normally at the center. In addition to the N8,000 child delivery fees, we also paid N10,500 for a carton of Maltina and a vaginal tear.”

I was expecting the opposite, so I am shocked to learn that child delivery services at government facilities were supposed to be free,” the woman remarked.

In a similar vein, Mr. Michael Adebiyi, whose wife gave birth at Ikorodu General Hospital in Ebute, reported that he paid the hospital more than N250,000 for supplies and a caesarean section.When my spouse gave birth in February, we paid for all of the delivery-related costs, including the cost of the cesarean section and blood.

Nothing came for free; in fact, I still owe a few people because I had to scramble to find the funds.”I was relieved to learn last year that government health facilities would provide free child delivery services to expectant mothers as part of relief efforts to lessen the financial burden on families.

He declared, “It is crucial that the government set up systems that ensure policies actually affect people’s lives.”A healthcare worker, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that many pregnant women pay out-of-pocket for antenatal and delivery services at many government-owned facilities.

She opined that the programme required improved planning, compliance monitoring, and management for sustainability.The healthcare professional observed that unplanned pregnancy couples would face more hardships as a result of the nation’s economic circumstances, which have raised the price of goods and services, particularly medications.

She urged couples to make wise choices, emphasizing that access to free prenatal and childbirth services is just one aspect of the lifetime socioeconomic experience that goes into child care.

According to NAN, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered General Hospitals and Primary Health Care Centers to provide free prenatal care and child delivery services on July 31, 2023, during the state’s Security Council meeting.

This is one of the steps taken to lessen the impact of the elimination of fuel subsidies.

The cost of antenatal care, including ANC clinics and registration fees, as well as regular and cesarean section child delivery services, will be covered by the medical intervention.

In keeping with the state government’s drive to achieve universal health coverage, it also aims to expand access to high-quality maternity and child health services.NAN

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