Mr Bhanu Pathak Chief Field Officer, UNCEF in Bauchi said this in Gombe on Monday when he visited Gov. Inuwa Yahaya.

He said the National Demographic Health Survey NDHIS in 2018 showed that in Gombe state, out of 1,000 children born alive,189 die before the age of five, which was higher than average deaths in the North-East geo-political zone of the country.

He said uptake of Maternal Newborn and Child Health service was still below optimal, with 19 per cent births delivered by skilled birth attendants and only 46 .4 per cent of pregnant women receiving antenatal service from skilled providers.

According to him, eight out of 10 pregnant women are at higher risk of dying from pregnancy related causes.

He further said 76 out of the 114 wards do not have functional Primary Health Care (PHC) centres and only four out of the whole number had at least two midwives, adding that all the Centres frequently experienced dearth of essential facilities .

He therefore advised the state government to establish a sustainable system for uninterrupted provision of essential health facilities, just as he stressed the need to have nurse and midwives in every PHC in Gombe State.

He also appeal to the state government to release N6 million, being the estimated cost of repairs of 30 solar refrigerators in 30 facilities.

Responding, Yahaya said attention would be given to the health sector, assuring UNICEF Chief Field Officer that all areas of concern would be addressed.

He said when he assumed office, the sector was a poor shape, emphasising that the condition of the general hospitals in the state was particularly deplorable.

He said Gombe is the only state in the federation without a Health Management Board, but added that the government was working to ensure the establishment of such a board .