A gynecologist, Dr Ado Zakari, on Friday advised pregnant women to desist from patronizing prayer houses for delivery to avoid complications.
Zakari, also the Director, Public Health, Kaduna State Ministry of Health and Human Services, gave this advice in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The medical expert decried the increasing cases of pregnant women who patronised prayer houses and faith-based centres to assist them during deliveries.
He said this usually resulted into complications such as the Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF), excessive bleeding and death.
“There is an increasing belief in our country that is taking over the minds of some pregnant women that it is better to deliver in prayer houses or some faith-based centres, where a pastor will pray for you and you deliver there.
“This mindset has brought a lot of complication to pregnant women because these persons do not have any technical knowledge about delivery process and what to do as and when the labour is prolong or obstructed.
“So most of the pregnant women eventually end up having complications such as fistula, bleeding and may even cause damage to some of their organs and even death,” he said.
Zakari, therefore, stressed the need for pregnant women to register at government approved hospitals for ante-natal care to ensure safe delivery.
They should discountenance delivering at home or prayer houses with the assistance of unqualified persons, he said.
According to him, deliveries in most government hospitals or centres are usually free or a small token is charged for some drugs.
Meanwhile, Mrs Grace Timothy, a housewife told NAN that she was advised by some of her relatives and friends to patronise a prayer house to enable her conceive after 12 years of marriage without a child.
Timothy said that she was able to conceive a child, but was advised by the pastor at the prayer house not to visit any medical institution for her ante-natal or scan to show the condition of her child.
“I almost lost my life when labour started and I was rushed to the prayer house for delivery and it got to a point that I was bleeding extensively, and had to be rushed to the hospital, but I lost the baby.’’
She expressed regrets for her action, advising other women to always seek medical assistance from trained persons to enable them have a safe and uncomplicated delivery.
“It is good to pray, but there is also the need for one to seek medical help when the need arises from trained persons. Because God will also use those trained nurses and doctors to ensure a hitch-free delivery,’’ she said.
On her own part, a marriage counselor, Mrs Esther Bako, advised women to always seek assistance from medical centres to enable them have a safe delivery.
“I don’t see any reason why a woman would risk her life by going to unqualified persons for delivery all in the name of prayers.
“Women should go through the right channel like the hospitals, and consult medical teams God had given the wisdom, knowledge and skills to cater for our health.’’
Bako also recalled the story of a pregnant woman who went to a prayer house for delivery but had complications.
The pregnant woman was rejected at the hospital when she was taken there and died as a result of complication, Bako said.
She, therefore, appealed to the government to take action against hospitals that rejects emergency patients that were not duly registered in such hospitals.
She stressed the need for them to proffer medical attention to such victims first rather than rejecting them.