Free maternity services in Kano State impact of free maternity services in Kano State Nigeria
Background: Comprehensive prenatal care, impacts positively on both maternal and perinatal outcome. The free maternity policy increased access to antenatal care and a reduction in maternal mortality in secondary health facilities. The uptake of the services continues to increase at exponential rate in all the facilities across Kano State.
Study design/subject: This was a cross sectional study over a period of six months(January to June 2008).The study review the components of all the services offered and the financial implication involved. The providers were
interviewed together with patients with pre-tested questionnaire to collect information on their perception, problem and satisfaction of the services since its inception in the State in 2001.
Main outcome: Utilization of maternity services by the respondents.
Results: The main components of the free maternity services are: free stationeries (cards), delivery pack, free treatment of surgical or medical complication of pregnancy, Vesico-vaginal fistula and recto-vaginal
fistula.(VVF/RVF) repair and screening of blood. The providers were happy with the programme, but it increased their workload especially from the neighboring states like Jigawa, Katsina and Bauchi, despite reduction in maternal morbidity and mortality (from 2700/100,000 to 950/100,000livebirths). The patients were aware of antenatal/maternity services in the General hospitals across the state, but they now spend longer time in the hospital before being attended to.
Conclusion: Improvement of staffing, community participation, increase funding, and introduction of similar services in the neighboring states will improve the quality of care provided and reduce the patient load.
Keywords: free maternity, Kano, orthodox facility