In September 2020, Nigeria Health Watch in partnership with EpiAFRIC conducted an assessment of WASH services in over 60 PHCs in Abuja and Niger State.
Released a fortnight ago, the assessment revealed that more than half of health facilities experience regular interruptions in their water supply. Many pregnant women prefer to deliver their babies with an unprofessional hand or even at home, where water is available.
For instance, in Pandagi Health Centre of Abaji Area Council, FCT, there had been no water supply in the past year which greatly discouraged women from giving birth to their babies in the centre, the survey found. Relatives of the few pregnant women who give birth to their babies in the PHC, have to source water from a nearby river.
With hand washing flagged as one of the most important ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19, the dire consequences of a lack of safe, clean and regular water for both patients and health workers in PHCs has been brought into focus by the assessment.
Results from the assessment revealed that most PHCs…