Information on a 26 years old woman, divorced 13 years ago as a teenager by a man in Katsina State for allowing a male doctor deliver her of her baby in an emergency situation, were sketchy last night.
Everyday.ng reports that the Executive Director, Nana Women and Girls Initiative, Dr Fatima Adamu, disclosed on Thursday that the then teenage mother was said to have had a complicated childbirth, resulting in being rushed to the hospital where there was no female medical practitioner on the ground to attend to her.
“A 14- year old Fulani girl in Katsina State 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,” Dr. Adamu said.
A source told Everyday.ng that the unfortunate incident, reported by media outlets as if a recent one, actually took place in 2010.
“Dr. Adamu actually told that story to stress the need for women doctors, nurses, and health practitioners in rural and conservative areas. That is the context of the story she told.”
The source added: “The teenager indicated after she was divorced she wanted to return to school and actually made moves in that direction.” But whether she followed up on the ambition was not known on Friday night.
It was further learnt that when the teenager was in labour pains, the husband initially resisted efforts by activists to take his young wife in the rural community in Katsina to the hospital.
After the Police got involved, he agreed to let her go the hospital; but when he found out she was attended to by a male doctor, he proceeded to divorce her.
Dr. Fatimah Adamu, who was featured as a keynote speaker at the Human Resources for Health Production Dialogue in Abuja, narrated the abridged version of the story as one of the motivating factors that led her to go into efforts to raise female medical practitioners for parts of the country in short supply of them.
She 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 revolutionising 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 an increase in the 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.”
The women’s rights activists lamented that Nigeria was producing medical doctors far below her need.
“There is shortage of health workers despite the production. We are producing health workers far below our needs. 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.
▪︎ Additional report courtesy of Dome News.