Village Health Workers Messaging Encourage Facility Delivery
Educating pregnant women and nursing mothers on danger signs during pregnancy, postpartum and postnatal periods is one of the core duties of the Village Health Worker. When clients are educated on the signs that may cause complications; they are encouraged to seek skilled care on time thus preventing obstetric emergencies or an undesirable situation.
This was the case with Hauwaú Muhammadu; a mother of eight who was pregnant with her ninth child when VHW Salome met her. Hauwaú has never delivered in a health facility and all attempts by Salome to get her to attend ANC fell on deaf ears. However, she always listened attentively to the messages on Salome’s flipchart whenever she paid her a home visit.
In the course of a supervisory visit by the programme officer in charge of Dukku LGA, Salome talked about one of her clients who had refused to attend ANC despite several follow up visits. The programme officer decided to pay Hauwaú a visit in order to talk further with her. On arrival, they were told that Hauwaú had just returned from her first ever ANC. The programme officer asked what made her change her mind and Hauwaú said she woke up feeling very dizzy that morning and she recalled that this was a danger sign in pregnancy. She immediately decided to go to the PHC. She was checked and it was discovered that her blood pressure was low. She was given haematinics and encouraged to take loads of rest.
Hauwaú eventually delivered in a health facility. When VHW Salome paid her a postpartum visit, she confided that her facility birth was the easiest of her nine deliveries. She promised to finish her postnatal check-ups and attend all immunisations for the baby. She also promised to encourage her peers to go for ANC and give birth in the health facility