By Oluseye Ojo


In the face of skyrocketing inflation and a high cost of living, at least 400 pregnant women in Nigeria have pleaded with the government to provide relief as they grapple with the staggering prices of medical care, baby items, essential supplies, and the cost of attending antenatal care.

They made the appeal at a health event organised by Ibadan Central Hospital (ICH) to commemorate its 26th anniversary held at the hospital’s premises, Ososami, Ibadan, on Wednesday, during which gifts, including baby items were given to many of the pregnant women. The star prize was the all.expenses paid delivery package for one of them.

The expectant mothers voiced their anguish over the crippling economic conditions that have been making it increasingly difficult to ensure the wellbeing of themselves and their unborn children.

The expectant mothers said majority among them have found themselves caught in a perfect storm as the economic crisis continues to squeeze the budgets of Nigerian families. They added that they were forced to navigate the complexities of pregnancy amidst the strain of rising costs.

“The government should provide facilities in government and private hospitals. Transportation is very expensive. Drugs, foods and baby items are so expensive,” lamented Mrs. Adeloye Titilayo, speaking on behalf of the group.

She stressed that the harsh reality of their situation, with the cost of a trip to the hospital that once cost less than N1,000 now reaching as high as N3,500, forcing some to even consider skipping vital appointments.

Related News

Another pregnant woman, Mrs. Ibironke Omotade echoed the sentiment, urging the government to implement more robust poverty alleviation strategies and strengthen the healthcare system to ease the burden on expectant mothers.

The General Manager of of the hospital, Olajumoke Caxton-Martins, acknowledged the plight of the women, emphasising the critical need for adequate nutrition and access to affordable medical care during pregnancy.

According to her, “Pregnant women need to feed well to be able to nurture the lives they are carrying. When the cost of living continues to increase, it creates an immediate problem for those who do not even earn enough to be able to provide for themselves. It is a general problem and it is felt more by these people. They need the nutrition to sustain life. We hope that government policies ease these pains soon.

“Things are getting astronomically expensive and it is directly impacting on the ability of people to procure drugs. However, we call on private individuals who can step in and help out, just as we do here, we give drugs, we run basic tests free of charge and we organise health gatherings twice every year.”

Caxton-Martins called on the government to increase funding for infrastructure development and address the pervasive problem of healthcare professional brain drain.

The hospital’s Medical Director, Dr. Kareem Adeseye, further emphasised the challenges, citing the lack of reliable power supply, poor infrastructure, and transportation issues as contributing factors that have rendered basic healthcare inaccessible for many.

His words: “We appeal to the government to partner with us in terms of ensuring stable and steady electricity, so as to reduce the running cost of the hospitals. Also, motorable roads are required to ensure effective conveyance, especially during emergencies.”