The fight to reduce maternal mortality and new born mortality can not be won except health workers are held accountable for their actions and inaction.
It was late Friday evening when a woman in labor was brought to PHC Mayne Avenue. Rather than health workers present helping her into the labor room, the demanded for 20,000 for surgery( mean while surgeries cannot be done in PHCs) and pushed the woman with that excruciating pain out of the facility. To make matters worse, a trained nurse who goes by the name Eme Bassey used mop stick to beat the woman, claiming that she bit her hand with her teeth. The said woman was thrown out of the facility and the in-charge also help throw her bag out of the facility.
The woman who was in excruciating pain went to the grass in front of the facility where she struggled on her own to deliver her baby and was aided by a member of the community and other passer by. When finally the woman put to birth, the youths in the community went into the health facility to move the said nurse out to ensure she assisted the woman. It was then she reluctantly came out to help the woman deliver her placenta and finally let her into the facility.
The Director General Dr Betta Edu when called, arrived the facility in complete shock that women could give such treatment to a fellow woman. The DG who was in tears said she had warned some health workers time without number to treat patients with right attitude but the have refused to change. “ I spend my time going from community to community to plead with women to leave Traditional Birth Attendants, Prayer houses and homes to deliver in Health facility, then a woman shows up in a health facility and she is beaten and pushed out, what worse treatment could a human give to another human?, this kind of wickedness is unheard of, this health workers will be used to set example for others who have refused to do the work which they are paid to do”
DG went on to say“ health workers carelessness have lead to death of many women. The Governor of Cross River State has been faithful in paying workers and on time too, he is adding another 1000 health workers to improve things in health sector. This is in addition to the rural allowance paid as incentives and facility upgrade to improve services. what more could a committed Governor do to make things work? Since the have refused to change we will show them the way out and bring in people who are ready to work!”
The DG, has with immediate effect suspended all the staff involved and the PHC coordinator who supervises then. All staff involved are to face disciplinary committee and night face tough sanctions including dismissal if the board so decides.
The woman has been admitted and the DG has provided for cloths for her and her baby as well as other provisions she requires to care for the baby.