Nasarawa drivers give 2,200 pregnant women free rides
NEWS DIGEST–About 150 volunteer drivers and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers have offered free rides to 2,200 pregnant women in Nasarawa State from their homes in the rural areas to health centres.
The women from Awe, Nasarawa Eggon, Obi, Doma, Wamba, and Kokona local government areas of the state are to benefit from the emergency transport scheme of the union.
The National Coordinator of the ETS, Alhaji Ismail Balogun, revealed this in Lafia on Thursday during a dissemination meeting, where he officially handed over the project to the state government.
According to him, since inception, the scheme has trained about 150 volunteer drivers, who are involved in transporting the women to various health facilities across the state.
“Data collected and analysed revealed that 1,636 pregnant women were transported during the expansion programme in six local government areas. Added to the pilot phase and you get a total of almost 2,200 pregnant women in the two-year period,” Balogun said.
He, however, advised the NURTW and the state government to work together for the sustainability of the programme, adding that stakeholders, security operatives, religious leaders and traditional rulers should encourage the volunteer drivers to continue the good work.
In his address, the state NURTW Chairman, Alhaji Salihu Adamu, said that the union partnered with the ETS in 2017 with a view to addressing the delay in accessing healthcare by pregnant women.
He added that within seven months from the commencement of the programme in two pilot local government areas, the union had trained volunteer drivers, who conveyed over 400 pregnant women to health facilities in the state.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Abigail Waya, who represented the commissioner, Mrs Jamila Tsarki, said the ministry was committed to the sustenance of the project in the state.