The Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) recently held a meeting with Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) coordinators and Ward Development Committee (WDC) members of the WHARC/IDRC project sites in ward 10/Etsako East Local Government Area and ward 3/Esan South-East Local Government Area, Edo state on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at WHARC conference room. The objective of the meeting was to review progress made thus far on implementation of the project activities in increasing access of rural women to skilled pregnancy care; and to adequately plan for the forthcoming visit of representatives of the funding partners: International Development Research Centre, Canada (IDRC) and West African Health Organization (WAHO) to the communities.
The visit is scheduled for July 28, 2018 in Okpekpe, Etsako East Local Government Area Edo State. Activities of the visits will include assessment of Okpekpe and Ebelle Primary Healthcare Centres; Participation in the routine Women and child development health education and fundraising programme for community health empowerment - an initiative by WHARC aimed at building community ownership, project sustainability and community involvement in improving health system.
A review of what has been done in Ewatto and Okpepe communities were also discussed during the meeting. The WDC secretary, Mr Oboh from Ewatto, reported that community sensitization on the use of PHCs was carried out which resulted in registration of over 40 pregnant women for antenatal care, community health insurance scheme ‘Osusu’ and rapid SMS response which are gains of the project innovations and implementations in Ewatto. He also said that three motor bikes and motor taxi have been strategically positioned to convey pregnant women to PHCs and referral hospitals; he added that provisions have been put in place for the welfare of any National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) medical doctor posted to the community.
The Executive Director WHARC, Dr. Wilson Imongan reiterated that WHARC has been in touch with the National Youth Service Corp commission for the posting of a Medical doctor to the community; he affirmed that in the next batch of National Youth Service Corp posting, the community will receive a doctor.
The chairman of the Okpekpe WDC, Chief Peter reported that 32 women have been duly registered and a memorandum of understanding has been signed with four (4) drivers for transportation of pregnant women to Okpekpe PHC and referral hospitals. He displayed pictorial evidence of the services recently rendered to pregnant women and promised that necessary arrangements will be made ahead of WHARC and the funding partners’ visit on Saturday, 28th July, 2018. He however appealed for a standardized child delivery fee across primary healthcare centers; He also advocated that WHARC should extend training on respectful healthcare to their nurses.
The Program Advisor, Professor Friday Okonofua thanked them for their forthrightness and commitment to the project; he encouraged them to do more sensitization and fund raising from influential indigenes and do more advocacy to key stakeholders at the local government council for low medical service charges. After a long discuss, members in the meeting reached a consensus that a total sum of four thousand and three hundred naira (N4.300) will be paid by each duly registered members under the WHARC project as fixed charge for antenatal registrations, antenatal care visits and delivery fees - this is to better resolve the issue of irregular charges.
Speaking further, the program advisor said that patients will pay for all other drugs purchased other than the delivery drugs at a subsidized cost so as to make room for continuity of the drug revolving fund. He emphasised on more commitment, transparency, honesty, and good communication among community members for the project effectiveness.
The participants expressed their gratitude to WHARC for the interventions in the communities; they promised to be more committed to the project.