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The people of Asa and Kaiama local government areas in Kwara state are deprived of access roads much as they are left in dire need of other basic infrastructures, such as health facilities. It was supposed to be a 2-hour journey from Ilorin to Kaiama, and a little less than that to Asa, but both trips took nearly 6 hours each, no thanks to the bumpy dusty roads leading to these 2 local government areas; leaving one wondering if these are still part of Kwara State. This informed the decision by LRP to intervene.

Before the LRP intervention in Gatte, the community had no hospital, not even a health center.  Hadiza Abubakar, a mother of eight from Gatte, had lost 2 of her children and also miscarried a twin pregnancy due to lack of access to a health facility in the community. 50-year-old Ramatu Kazim also suffered the same fate. Due to pregnancy complications, and the absence of a hospital in their community, Ramatu carried one pregnancy for one year and seven months before she was delivered of the baby. Pregnant women from Gatte had to on the 3 hours long trip, and on a bumpy road to Kaiama to access antenatal services. This was quite a distance and also told on their meager resources. “My pregnancy complications took me to Kaiama several times and it was a torturous experience. If there was a hospital here all this would not be like that.” she said. 

The story from Sholu community was pretty much the same. Women from Sholu would travel over 5 kilometers to access the nearest health facility. The community recorded a lot of avoidable deaths because they had no access to a health facility. But now a newly constructed health center stands at the center of the community, thanks to LRP intervention. 

Pointing repeatedly at the magnificent building, 56 years old mother of five, Abubakar Taiba narrated the ordeals of Sholu women before the LRP intervention. “It was a difficult task having to convey pregnant women from Sholu to the nearest health facility which was very far from Sholu. It took only the grace of God to save the lives of some women in that condition. And of course, the community lost some lives due to lack of a health facility in the community before now” she said. 

Apart from building the first health center in Gatte community and influencing the government to equip and staff it up, which has provided succor to the people and reduced maternal and infant mortality and morbidity considerably, Sholu community also leveraged on the capacity they were given by the LRP programme to prevail on the government to build and equip a health center in the community. 

The impact of the LRP health intervention in Kaiama and Asa local government areas of Kwara State has been quite noticeable. Women from the benefiting communities no longer have to travel long distances to access basic healthcare services. The health centers attracted to these communities by CCEPE, means they now have easy access to healthcare services. Infant and maternal mortality and morbidity has also reduced considerably, and they ultimately save a lot of money which would have gone into transportation to those far places just to access healthcare services.

My biggest joy is that all my grandchildren were born in the Gatte community health center with no complications. I would not wish any woman to suffer what I suffered during my pregnancies” Hadiza Abubakar said. She has been encouraging the women of Gatte community to make maximum use of the health center in their community to avoid pregnancy complications.