A man in Katsina State has reportedly divorced his 14-year old house wife for allowing a male medical practitioner to attend to her while giving birth to his baby.
The teenage mother, who was divorced by the husband, was said to have had a complicated child birth, resulting to being rushed to the hospital where there was no female medical practitioner on ground to attend to her. As a result, the only male medical practitioner available attended to her during labour, a development that led to the crash of her marriage.
Although the lady was said to have given birth successfully, her husband’s joy was cut short when he rushed to the hospital to realize that the medical practitioner that attended to the wife during labour was a male. Peeved by the development, he subsequently divorced the wife.
The Executive Director of Nana Women and Girls Empowerment Initiative, Dr. Fatima Adamu, who disclosed this on Thursday, in Abuja, while speaking as a keynote speaker at the Human Resources for Health Production Dialogue, appealed to governments, especially state governments to ensure there was equity in the recruitment and deployment of medical personnel to rural communities.
The event, which was organised with a view to revolutionizing the country’s healthcare system, had stakeholders calling for accountability and prudence in healthcare training institutions.
Adamu, who has over 15 years of engaging and advocating for increase in production of nurses and midwives in the country, insisted that governments, especially state governments need to take up the responsibility to produce their own health workers as according to her, ”there is no short cut about it.”
“A 14- year old Fulani girl in Katsina State, she delivered and had difficulty with delivery, so we had to take her to the hospital and after the delivery, the husband divorced her because she was attended by a man. This young girl was divorced all because she was attended by a man during delivery,” she lamented.
The women’s rights activist lamented that Nigeria was producing medical doctors far below its need.
“There is shortage of health workers despite the production. We are producing health workers far below our need. Our average population growth is 3.2, but our annual production of nurses and midwives is 2.6,so definitely, there is gap. That is the latest data available that could be accessed,” she added.
Also speaking, Mr. Paul McDermott, Director of USAID/Nigeria HPN Office, represented by Mieko Mickay, recognizing the pivotal role of students and tutors, also encouraged them to foster positive behaviors that promote a culture of supportive and collaborative learning.
On his part, the Country Director of USAID Health Workforce Management (HWM), Dr. Andy Omoluabi, stressed the critical role that human resources for health play in strengthening the country’s healthcare system, especially primary health care workers such as nurses, midwives, and community health extension workers.
According to him, despite the evident importance of these healthcare workers, Nigeria faces numerous challenges in producing enough skilled personnel, particularly at the primary health care level.
He said:”Some of the identified key challenges, include shortages of qualified tutors and trainers, inadequate learning environments, and difficulties with adapting and delivering training curricula, despite revisions made in collaboration with regulatory bodies.”
One of the most pressing concerns highlighted during the event was the alarming burden of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria. Shockingly, Nigeria shoulders over 34% of the global burden of maternal death and has become the world’s highest contributor to deaths among children under five years.