As MSF performs 6,000 VVF surgeries, 90,000 deliveries in Jigawa
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), also known as Doctors Without Borders, has developed a roadmap to reducing maternal morbidity and mortality in Jigawa State and has adopted a collaborative approach to expand access to services and improve maternal and neonatal outcomes.
Meanwhile, the organization has performed 6000 successful Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) repairs, 90,000 deliveries in Jigawa State since 2008.
Speaking to journalists after a three-day workshop in Abuja, the Medical Operations Senior Manager, Marie-Hortense Koudika, stated that MSF in collaboration with the Jigawa State Ministry of Health has carried out 18,000 C-sections, 143,000 hospitalizations and 19,000 newborn admissions in the last 15 years.
Koudika observed that MSF in partnership with the Jigawa State government has been managing medical activities in Jahun General Hospital (JGH) since 2008 in Emergency Obstetrics, Newborn care, Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) care rehabilitation and recently, sexual violence.
Koudika pointed out that following identified gaps over the years, the project was expanded to provide Comprehensive Emergency Maternal Obstetrics and Neonatal Care in JGH; and since 2016, MSF has been supporting four Primary Health Centre facilities in Jahun, Aujara, Miga and Taura, for basic emergency maternal obstetrics and neonatal care.
She explained that the workshop which had stakeholders from the Federal, state, international and national organizations as well as patients and partners, discussed maternal health and neonatal care in Jigawa State with the aim of identifying ambitious strategies for improving access to quality care and outcomes.
According to her, “The reduction of morbidity and mortality is a joint effort involving traditional and religious authorities, civil society, the Jigawa health authorities and international partners to facilitate preventive measures and access to care and to empower pregnant women to decide on their care path with medical and community health actors.”
Adding: “Working in partnership is key, health is everyone’s business and there are so many needs. The participation of high-level officials shows the authorities take these problems seriously and there is political will to make a difference for women’s health in Jigawa state.”
Koudika said that the MSF is running regular projects in 11 states across Nigeria, including, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“We work with more than 2, 800 staff, the vast majority locally recruited.
“MSF started its intervention in Jahun General Hospital in 2008 with Obstetrical Fistula repair -Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious and dangerous injuries that can occur during childbirth. It is a perforation between the vagina and the bladder and/or rectum, caused by prolonged labour and occurring in the absence of prompt, high-quality obstetric care.”
Also speaking, MSF Head of Mission, Abdel Kader, stressed the need for increased awareness to encourage the women to attend ante-natal.He noted that many women in the state failed to access ante-natal care, thereby making them susceptible to complications during childbirth.
On his part, the Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Muhammed Kainuwa, described as unacceptable, the high rate of maternal mortality in the state and expressed the commitment of the state government to ensuring improved healthcare services for its citizens.
He observed that the stakeholders have agreed to provide 24-hour water and power supply through solar to make our rural women have access to obstetric care in conjunction with MSF who will give us the training and expertise for the state to expand on this.
“We are here to discuss and look at the data critically and see how the government of Jigawa state can support MSF to expand the services. We have agreed that we are going to increase the comprehensive emergency obstetric care in general hospitals, we are going to make sure we open the emergency obstetric and neonatal care in 281 PHCs in all the Local Government Areas in the state, and we are going to revitalise our PHCs and commensurate monitors.”
For the past 15 years, MSF has been providing medical support to women suffering from Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) at the Jahun general hospital in Jigawa state and has been providing free surgical repairs, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and psychosocial support for women suffering from VVF.
MSF together with the State Ministry of Health are also actively involved in high standard maternity and new-born care units and also provide support to primary health centres for maternity and reproductive health as well as major effort in medical trainings and capacity building.