Rural areas usually have low access to reproductive health services.
The Jigawa State Government has set up 353 Safe Motherhood Demand Creation Committees to enhance reproductive health services in rural areas of the state.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hadiza Abdulwahab, made this known in an interview on Thursday in Dutse.
Ms. Abdulwahab said the committees were established under the safe motherhood programme known in the Hausa language as “Haihuwa Lafiya”, initiated by the ministry.
She said the committees have the responsibility of educating communities on reproductive health and mobilising the public to participate in maternal care issues to reduce the mortality rate.
The commissioner said the state government had provided 71 vehicles to communities to ease transportation difficulties associated with transporting women on labour to health facilities.
“The Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is giving a leading role in safe motherhood demand creation in the state. We have so far established 353 emergency maternal care schemes in 27 local government areas of the state.
“This transport scheme is one of the key activities, because there are delays in reaching the health facility in hard-to-reach areas and also transportation of pregnant women from her community to the health facility.
“Already, we have 71 communities that have the safe motherhood demand creation vehicles given to the community members,” Ms. Abdulwahab said.
She said that the Birnin-Kudu Local Government Council also donated a vehicle to the scheme to facilitate its smooth implementation in the area.
According to her, the ministry is working in collaboration with the 27 local councils in the state and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, to sensitise communities and promote participation in the programme.
“We do it in collaboration with NURTW, which have a leading role in sensitising drivers to work voluntarily in the communities; and NURTW has good understanding in actualising this policy and for the sustainability of it the communities are involved.
“The union is also sensitising transport owners as well as the drivers to embrace this important policy.”
The commissioner also said that the ministry is mobilising the communities to contribute toward the maintenance of the vehicles.