Some pregnant women stormed the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to protest the alleged closure of antenatal care services at the Edo State Government-owned Central Hospital, Benin City, on Wednesday, December 22.
The protesters claimed that they were scheduled to attend antenatal care on Wednesday at the hospital, but that upon arriving at the clinic, were directed to go home till January next year.
Following the development, the aggrieved expectant mothers marched to the Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), to make their plights known to the public.
Mrs. Happy Imafidon, who spoke on behalf of the women, said they were directed to come on January 11, 2021 after spending hours and not being attended to.
“We got here and were told no antenatal care from today, December 22. The nurses announced that from December 22, there will be no antenatal care because it has been closed till January 11.
“We asked 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.
But, reacting, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, Edo State described the development as a “communication gap” between the health workers and the patients.
Akoria who assured that the government has made proper arrangements to take care of pregnant women, mobilized vehicles to convey the aggrieved women back to receive care at the hospital.
“We joined antenatal with labour 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.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director of Hospital, Dr. Duncan Iyawe, said what happened was as a result of miscommunication occasioned by the renovation going on at the hospital.
“We didn’t drive you from central hospital. Upon your return to the hospital today, you will be booked and told the date and location when to come,” Duncan said.