Kaduna (Nigeria) — Inhabitants, especially women of a seemingly forgotten community in Kaduna, north west Nigeria have cried – out for help, as they cover over 20 kilometers distance before getting access to medical facilities.
Cikaji-Ruhoki is the village with a population of over 700 and situated behind Kukkumake town in Igabi local government area, in the outskirt of Kaduna, the state capital.
It is a village where pregnant women and other residents including elderly persons and children usually use Tipper truck and motor-cycles while others Trek far distance to attend ante-natal and other medical services.
Majority of the inhabitants are Gbagyi by tribe ,and most of them are local farmers, Traders, while the women are into other business activities including selling of firewood.
Mrs Talatu Bamaiyi is one of the women interviewed by a Kaduna based journalist who paid a visit to the area.
Talatu expressed sadness over the increasing daily challenges confronting most of them living In the village due to lack of medical facility in the entire community.
She said most of them usually have high blood pressure as a result of the suffering they are passing through especially, pregnant women before reaching hospital to deliver their babies
“Pregnancy suppose to be a thing of joy for every women across the world, but due to fear of lack of hospital and distance barriers, many women among us are so afraid of getting pregnant in the village because of the sufferings they usually passed through, some even died in the process.”
“we need hospital in this village to save our rural women from the stressed and the sufferings they are passing through, and to reduce the rate of maternal mortality ”
Talatu said there are many pregnant women who died as a result of the suffering they usually experience while moving from the village to Kawo hospital,which is relatively far away from the local community,adding that they spend huge amount of money every time they travel to Kawo general hospital.
The distance from Unguwan cikaji-Ruhoki to Kawo Hospital, she said, is about 25 kilometers before getting to the hospital,
Talatu added “ every pregnant woman that wants to go for any medical check-up or anti-natal service , has to climb Tipper Trucks that are used for loading sand that is meant for building construction. This is because that is the only means of transportation in the village,as small cars cannot pass-by easily”
She further stated that, due to the bad nature of the road and affecting farming activities in the area ,most farmers find it extremely difficult in transporting their farm produce to Kaduna market.
”From our village to Kawo hospital ,its truly a very long distance for any pregnant woman ,and as such this problem usually put us in a pathetic situation, which usually lead to the deaths of some women, while others ended up in having miscarriage” she said.
According to Talatu, the village has been in existence for over 200 years and they have been living in peace and harmony with neighboring villages of other tribes
“Due to lack of electricity in the village, no one is informed about the happenings in and around them or current affairs in the country, not to talk of social media; we don’t have anything”.
Mr Solomon David is also another resident of the village, He also narrates the sufferings most pregnant women and elderly persons in the village face due to lack of hospital or clinic in the area.
Solomon said,”We cannot estimate the number of women that have died as a result of lack of hospital in the villages. “lack of hospital is the greatest challenge everyone in the village is facing,can’t you see the nature of the road,it is only Tipper truck and motorcycles that pass here every day, it’s a pity seeing our pregnant women climbing Tipper Truck to go to hospital,
Solomon appealed to the Kaduna state government to establish primary health care centres in villages ,so as to reduce the large numbers of women that usually die while trying to go to hospital for delivery
Another resident Musa Dauda told the journalist that apart from lack of hospital , the people residing in the area, are also facing problems of lack of school and other basic amenities .
Mr Musa said politicians do usually come to the village during campaigns promising them many thing, but hardly they come back after winning the election\
He added that, “Nigerian politicians use to come to see us with their candidates for campaign in big cars , come to our community and make promises to improve our lives, but hardly see them returned once they are elected into the offices”.
According to Musa , this is the first time they are seeing a journalist in this village adding that they are really grateful for the visit,
He then appealed to the Kaduna state government ,Non-governmental organizations ,Civil society organizations and development partners to come to their aid.