The wife of the Cross River State Governor, Dr Linda Ayade has said that unskilled labour claimed the lives of two women that died in a prophetess home during delivery in Ikom local government area of Cross River State explaining that the traditional birth attendant that attended to the women was professionally incompetent.
She regretted the death of the deceased at the point of delivery, “It is very sad that despite our effort, warnings and awareness creation on dangers of prayer house and Traditional unskilled birth attendants taking delivery, women still put their lives at risk to patronise this places. Some women have been clearly brain washed into believing they will die if they go to health centres”.
“I can imagine the pain those families are going through now, older siblings left without their mother to face live. This is completely unacceptable and must be fought by all stakeholders involved in the society. TBAs must restrict their roles to referrals of every pregnant woman in their community to health centres or hospitals where care is free. They should never manage complicated cases like in the index situation. The Ikom incidence clearly goes against the government policy on maternal health” She stated.
Dr Linda Ayadin who was speaking at the flag off of the First Round Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week in Odukpani LGA urged women to disregard prayer houses and churches during delivery but should instead make use of health facilities or hospital closer to them. She condemned in strong terms the death of two mothers and warned.
“This devilish act must not repeat itself again, our traditional rulers should join hands with government to ensure their subjects are well informed about the use of health centre for delivery against churches or prayer houses and by doing so Cross River state will witness decrease in maternal and infant mortality rate in the state.
Also speaking, the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. (Mrs) Betta Edu noted that just some few days back the State Ministry of Health, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Agency with the support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other development partners held a meeting with the TBAs in the state reaffirming the stand of State Government on the role of TBAs in ending maternal mortality in the state.
The guideline, she noted clearly state referral roles expected by all TBAs. She said the perpetrators of this act will be brought to book and disciplined accordingly as the State cannot afford to be losing mothers and children to irresponsible attitude and functioning of unskilled birth attendants in prayer houses and TBAs.
“The case will be reported to the Police for further investigation and appropriate actions within the norms of the law will be taken” the DG added. It would be recalled that two women Violet Mbala Ekpe and Helen Isieg gave birth at a prophetess home in Ikom but died of complications after child birth and their new born babies also died.
The deceased before then obtained ante natal care at Primary Health Centres in Nkarasi in Abanyom Ward of Ikom local government area, Cross River state. Sadly, during delivery, one Prophetess Mrs. Eka Maria was alleged to have cajoled them to give birth in her home and they died of complications in the process.