Scores of pregnant women yesterday protested against the alleged closure of antenatal care services at the Edo State owned Central Hospital, Benin City.
The women claimed that they were scheduled to attend antenatal care yesterday but upon getting to the clinic, were directed to go home and return January 11, 2022.
Following the developments, they (pregnant women) marched to the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to make their plights known to the public.
Spokesperson of the Women, Mrs. Happy Imafidon, said they were directed to come on January 11, 2021 after spending hours unattended to.
“We got at the antenatal as we are scheduled today, December 22. The nurses announced that from today, December 22, there will be no antenatal care because it has been closed till January 11.
“We asked what if anyone has issues, before January 11, they told us that we should go to private hospitals that it is an order from above,” she said.
Reacting to this development, Edo State Commissioner for Heath, Professor Obehi Akoria, said there was a communication gap between the health workers and the patients.
Akoria pleaded with the women and assured them that the state government has made proper arrangements to take care of pregnant women.
She immediately mobilised vehicles to convey the aggrieved women back to receive care at the hospital.
She explained that the nurses manning the antenatal section of the hospital misinformed the pregnant women as the labour ward and the antenal section was joined together for quick and improved services.
“We joined antenatal with labor ward so that all will be in the same place. That is the plan. We will ensure the nurses communicate to you all properly. They didn’t pass the message well,” Akoria said.
Corroborating the health commissioner’s position, the Medical Director of the Central Hospital, Dr. Duncan Iyawe, said what happened was as a result of miscommunication because the hospital is undergoing renovation.