Nigeria: How We Lost Our Babies Due To Negligence Of Health Workers At Sabon Tasha General Hospital, Kaduna

Sabo gen. hospital

Admitted patients at Sabon Tasha Gen. Hospital Kaduna


By Maureen Sheyin.

Thursday 29th November 2018 remains a day Fatimah Solomon will never forget in her life. On that fateful day, she went for her usual ante-natal checks slated for every month at Sabon Tasha general hospital, Kaduna northern Nigeria.

Most of the pregnant women in the area numbering about a hundred prefer to go to Sabo General Hospital because of its proximity.

Mrs. Solomon was full of joy after being checked by the midwife on duty and told that her baby was kicking fine. she was asked if she had any complaint which she said no, she then bought the usual drugs taken by pregnant women and left the hospital.

On that same day, at about 5pm, back at home, she started experiencing pains, she never thought it was labour, because her estimated delivery date was in two weeks time. But when the pains persisted, she hurriedly went back to the hospital, and met the midwife on duty, who checked and informed her that the unborn baby was not breathing.

This left Mrs. Solomon with many thoughts, because she was at the hospital in the morning of the same day when they told her that the baby was breathing normally.

‘’On arrival the nurse asked me to lie down and close my legs, to me it was highly unusual in cases of giving birth as one is expected to open her legs and not to close them, I obeyed her because I thought she was a professional, but to my surprise the midwife went and sat down doing nothing, I called her several times but she ignored me, she was busy chatting on her phone, I believed that I had only 30 per cent assistance from the midwife, upon losing my baby in the process, I was charged N1,500.

Findings revealed that Mrs. Solomon was one out of many pregnant women who suffered bitter experiences when they visit the hospital for ante-natal checks, where new born babies have continued to die due to negligence from the health personnel.

The hospital which is located in Chikun Local Government Area has a good number of nurses and midwives and 7 medical doctors.

A visit to the hospital revealed that women and children have continued to die with such impunity, even when the state government created a budget line in order to reduce maternal and child mortality.

In the second part of 2018, there was a reported case from the hospital, where 16 women who took a family planning method became pregnant. It was gathered that the service provider administered one stick of implant, instead of the usual two, for women who wanted to space their deliveries for 5 years.

Despite the introduction of the free maternal and child health care services, pregnant women visiting the hospital have been made to pay for services which the state government continue to announce were free.

It appeared that the hospital was interested in collecting monies from pregnant women who attend ante-natal and women who deliver there, more so, official receipts were not issued for such payments – charges are written with a pen on paper. A lot of such women are left with inadequate care, as a result, many have lost their lives, or left with permanent damage and in most cases lose their babies.

Mrs. Nankling Nansel is a woman who lost a six months pregnancy due to negligence of health workers at the Sabo general hospital. She narrates her ordeal thus;


The Chief Medical Director of Sabon Tasha general hospital, Dr. Emmanuel Gajere, who assumed duty three months ago said there is large number of women who come for ante-natal care and nearly 80 per cent of them don’t deliver at the hospital. Rather, he said, they go elsewhere to deliver, attributing this to what he called ‘a problem in the labour room’.

He confirmed most of the complaints by pregnant women, attributing it to shortage of health personnel, adding that in most cases, only one or two midwives will be on duty attending to many pregnant women who came to deliver.

He said lack of communication skills from both parties is another contributory factor, where the midwife sees the clients as a customer, not as a pregnant woman who comes for anti-natal care, adding that some of the health workers have conflicting characters towards their work that need to be checked.

On alleged illegal charges on pregnant women, the chief medical director said since he assumed office there had not been charges when a woman comes to deliver, except on certain items for which receipts were issued.

‘I don’t subscribe to that, I don’t think the management is aware of this, nevertheless, I think this is something management would look into, but its free, services are free, don’t pay any money for delivery, it is free.

“Somebody charging you N1, 500 or N3, 500 is an illegal act and is not acceptable.”

He assured that with his coming to Sabon Tasha general hospital, measures would be put in place to restore the lost confidence people have in the hospital.

Dr. Gajere said, his desire is to turn Sabon Tasha General Hospital to be like the General hospital in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, where he was coming from, which has not recorded any maternal and infant mortality for two years.

He said, the success story of Zangon Kataf hospital is as a result of prompt response from the health workers in the hospital.

In an interview, the Permanent Secretary, Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Human Services Dr. Muhammad Shehu Usman, said, health is the most important agenda of the present administration and that Government was not unaware of the inadequate manpower in the health sector.

It is against this background that the state government in 2018 approved the recruitment of three thousand and fifty-nine health workers to have sufficient health workers in the state.

The permanent secretary explained that if there were adequate health personnel in the hospitals, cases of maternal and child mortality and other related diseases will be reduced to barest minimum.

‘’if you look at our statistics of maternal mortality, it has been dropping from 2007, at that time we were having about 1500 death per 100,000 life births, but it has dropped seriously. If you look at the statistics, we are less than the national average, but that does not mean that women are not dying but it cannot be compared with two to three years ago.

“Babies are also dying but it cannot be compared to years back.”

Additional information on family planning by Iliya Kure

Posted by on 05/02/2019. Filed under Health, Investigations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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