About 150 volunteer drivers of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Nasarawa state, have a free ride to 2, 200 pregnant women living in the rural communities across the state to healthcare centres.
The pregnant women who were from six Local Government Areas of the state enjoyed the Emergency Transport Scheme of the union.
National coordinator of the ETS, Alhaji Ismail Balogun, made this known in Lafia at the dissemination meeting, where he officially handed over the project to the state.
According to him, rural women for long find it difficult to access government health facilities, hence the need to introduce the scheme in helping the women.
He added: ” from data collected and analyzed revealed that 1636 pregnant women were transported during the expansion programs in 6 LGAs.
” Add to the pilot gives a total of almost 2,200 pregnant women in the two years period”.
Adding that the scheme had really put a smile on many families who individually has a story to tell, urging NURTW and the state government to map out modalities on how to continue after TRANSAID leaves.
He urged the Steering technical committee to be up and doing in sustaining the program, stressing that stakeholders, a security operative, religious leaders and traditional rulers also have prominent roles to play in the effective expansion of the program to other LGAs of the state.
Earlier, the NURTW chairman in the state Alhaji Salihu Adamu said in 2017 the NURTW Nasarawa state chapter decided to partner with ETS, with the view to addressing the delay in access health care by assisting pregnant women during maternal complications and will continue to do their best to sustain the scheme.
Mrs Abigail Waya, the permanent secretary in the state minister for women affairs, who represented the commissioner, Ajiya Jamila Dogara Tsarki, said the ministry will give its commitment to sustain the project in the state.
The ETS dissemination meeting, brought together security agencies, the state minister for women affairs, religious and traditional rulers, civil societies among others. Who appreciated the TRANSAID for the initiatives, assuring to do all within their reach to assist the program.
Also, some beneficiaries shared their experiences on how the two years program helped them during labour.