Lawmakers Ask Executive To Address Alarming Maternal Mortality Rate

House of Representatives in Nigeria kick against removal of JegaThe House of Representatives says there is an urgent need to address the alarming rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria.

This position followed a debate on a motion raised by Representative Aishatu Dukku, which noted that Nigeria had one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

The motion was largely supported by members of the house, with a call on the executive to take necessary steps to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria.

Governments at all levels were also encouraged to make qualitative antenatal care free and accessible at primary, secondary and tertiary health facilities.

The lawmakers’ concern for the nation’s maternal mortality rate came months after the National Centre for Women Development commissioned a research into maternal health indicators in Nigeria.

It was a strategy to reduce the rate of maternal deaths.

The Director General of the Centre, Ms Onyeka Onwenu, expressed optimism that the initiative would tackle the reproductive rights challenges of women and girls.

Ms Onwenu said the study was also critical to the actualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period requires adequate attention, but Nigeria has continued to record cases of maternal deaths during childbirth.

Advocacy For Proper Antenatal Care

This rising rate made traditional rulers from northern Nigeria in August resolve to lead the campaign against maternal and child mortality in the Region.

The region’s performance has been rated poorly in its performance in the area of maternal and child health.

Indicators showed that the region had the highest rate of maternal, infant mortality among other regions in Nigeria.

At a one-day dialogue and sensitisation meeting with Northern Traditional Rulers Committee on Primary Health Care held in Kaduna State on August 30, the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, who chaired the meeting, decried the high rate of maternal mortality in the north.

He stressed the need for collective effort to address the ugly trend.

The Sultan further urged traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects on the importance of providing proper antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women and nursing mothers especially at rural communities.

According to statistics released by the United Nations Population Fund,  no fewer than 100 women die daily across Northern Nigeria during childbirth.

 

Northern Traditional Rulers Join Campaign To Halt Maternal Mortality

maternal mortality and child care in Nigeria health care industry Traditional rulers from northern Nigeria have resolved to lead the campaign against maternal and child mortality in the Region.

The move came on the heels of the region’s poor performance in the area of maternal and child health.

Indicators showed that the region has the highest rate of maternal, infant mortality among other regions in Nigeria.

At a one-day dialogue and sensitisation meeting with Northern Traditional Rulers Committee on Primary Health Care held in Kaduna State on Tuesday, the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, who chaired the meeting, decried the high rate of maternal mortality in the north.

He stressed the need for collective effort to address the ugly trend.

The Sultan further urged traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects on the importance of providing proper antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women and nursing mothers especially at rural communities.

According to statistics released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF),  no fewer than 100 women die daily across Northern Nigeria during childbirth.

Massive Sensitisation

This is due to a lot of factors which include medical complications – bleeding and infection,  social factors – poverty, lack of education, lack of adequate medical facilities and personnel among others.

Worried by this negative development, the traditional rulers gathered to brainstorm and come up with ways of addressing this major health challenge.

The meeting was conveyed by the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development in collaboration with UNPF.

The Dean of Faculty of Medicine Kaduna State University, Dr Joel Adeze, told the gathering that lack of education and some cultural practices against women were major causes of maternal deaths.

He, however, emphasises the role of traditional rulers in sensitising their subjects about providing qualitative health care for pregnant women.

Other participants at the meeting agreed to take the message back home and ensure all necessary steps were taken to reverse the menace.

With massive sensitisation and political will from the government, participants believe these factors would help in encouraging all stakeholders to step up measures to reduce the menace of maternal mortality and save more pregnant mothers and their children from dying during childbirth.

El-Rufai Seeks Extension Of Health Insurance To Informal Sector

el-Rufai on health insurance scheme to end maternal mortality The Nigerian government has been advised to extend the national health insurance coverage to the informal sector and poor people in rural communities.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, who gave the advice, believes that the extension will lower the rate of maternal and child mortality.

He explained that a partnership should be established between the Federal and State Governments.

The Governor was speaking in Kaduna on Thursday during the north-west zonal launching of ‘Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results’ organised by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Unacceptably High

Governor El-Rufai warned that if drastic interventions were not put in place to save the lives of pregnant women and children across Nigeria, the maternal and infant mortality rate would go higher.

Maternal deaths in Nigeria have been described in many quarters as unacceptably high.

Presently, Nigeria accounts for 14 per cent of maternal deaths in the world, a figure experts say is totally unacceptable if the country must make any meaningful progress.

Delivering his keynote address at the occasion, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, explained that the programme was being funded from a $500 million credit that had been negotiated by the Federal Government with World Bank.

Professor Adewole stated that the fund was being disbursed to the states as an intervention in key areas such as maternal, new born and child health, improving child nutrition, immunisation, malaria control and the elimination of mother to child HIV transmission.

He said that the programme would be implemented by the States’ Ministries of Health based on an agreed plan of action.

Stakeholders at the meeting including the host Governor and Commissioner for Health in Jigawa State, Abbah Umar, highlighted some of the commitment by the state governments towards achieving the lowest minimum rate of maternal and child mortality in the rural areas.

The ‘Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results’ initiative is a Federal Government–led intervention effort focused at improving maternal and child health through a result based partnership with States’ Ministries of health.

Nigeria’s Health Sector Needs Re-engineering — Egboh

Mr. Mike Egboh, National Programme Manager, PATHS.The National Programme Manager, Partnership for Transforming Health Systems (PATHS), Mr. Mike Egboh, has called for the re-engineering of Nigeria’s Health Sector in order to adequately tackle maternal mortality.

Part of the re-engineering he called for is the prioritising of the health sector by Nigerian politicians.

He stressed that the challenges facing the sector were not that of manpower and remuneration of medical workers but that of ineffective and poor infrastructure.

“There is frustration because the system is not functioning effectively. It is a function of infrastructure which is not being developed fast. It is painful for a doctor to know he can save a malaria patient and yet he watches the patient die because he does not have the necessary tools.

“We have not made health a political issue. We don’t hear issues of health in political campaigns. No politician has ever mentioned that when he comes into office, women and children will have access to healthcare.

“They run into health problems and they die but they have not learnt from it.

“You must build hospitals where they are needed. Most structures are put in places where they are not used to their full capacity,” he emphasised.

He pointed out that most hospitals were built without proper consideration of the statistics from communities.

“We must look at the regional realities and respond to them. We must look at statistics coming from communities and use that to plan.

“Until we start to use information to plan, we will continue to make mistakes,” Mr. Egboh said on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunriser Daily on Wednesday.

He called for a multiple approach in tackling maternal mortality.

“We do not lack technology. We do not lack people who can bring about change but we lack the attitude to bring about change.

“We need to look at the attitude of health workers and politicians,” he stressed.

Mr Egboh called for proper management of funds budgeted for health to ensure that the purpose was achieved.

Success Story

Despite the setbacks in the sector, several success stories have been recorded in the northern part of the country through the PATHS project funded by the UK’s Department for International Development and implemented by Abt Associates

The National Programme Manager stated that Gigawa was the only state allocating about 15 per cent of its budget to healthcare delivery.

This development, he noted, had yielded positive results in the state.

Other states where the initiatives of the organisation have recorded positive results through community participation are Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano.

The PATHS seeks to improve maternal and child health and strengthen Nigeria’s health system by increasing access to efficient, effective, and quality health services through investments in health workers, health facilities, and communities.

 

FG Launches New Health Initiative To Curb Maternal Death Rate

The federal government through the ministry of health has announced its plans to put up an evidence-based health system initiative to reduce maternal deaths in the country.

The permanent secretary in the ministry, Ambassador Sanni Bala, made this known at the official launch of the Nigeria Evidence-based health system initiative, which held in Abuja.

Speaking at the event, Mr Bala reaffirmed government’s commitment to reducing maternal deaths and improving child health in Nigeria. He also assured that the federal government will continue to act on timely and accurate information in order to improve the nation’s maternal and child healthcare.

He further said that the federal government’s focus on health sector reforms will lead to an improved health care delivery system for all Nigerians.

The ability of health systems to respond to health needs depends on evidence of what works and what might work better, he said.

The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Professor Angelo Oyo-Ita, explained that the Evidence based health is a system that enables health practitioners to access information that would aid the treatment of any epidemic rather than treating the disease based on assumption.

State governments want the culture of evidence-based planning to be increased to reduce any breakdown of epidemic, he added.

The Nigeria evidence-based health system initiative is expected to improve the health of mothers and children by strengthening the capacity of state and local governments to base healthcare planning on evidence that will attract adequate resources.

 

State Of World’s Mother 2013: Reducing Maternal Mortality In Nigeria

Maternal deaths in Nigeria have been described in many quarters as unacceptably high. As Nigerians join the rest of the world in marking the state of women in 2013, Channels Television’s weekend programme, Sunrise examines the relationship between access to reproductive health in Nigeria and healthy population.

According to the International Conference on Population and Development Programme, reproduction health implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and ho3w often to do so.

The above assumption is a condition that can only be achieved if the women are informed and have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning and other reproductive services of their choice to regulate fertility which are not against the law and the right to access appropriate health care services that will enable them go safely through pregnancy and child birth.

The Senior Maternal and New Born Health Manager with the Save the Children foundation, Abimbola Williams and the Lagos State Commission for Health, Jide Idris, in this interview examines the components of reproductive health and how women in Nigeria have felt in this year.

Health Practioners Proffer Solutions To Reduce Maternal Mortality

In celebration of the International Women day, Channels Television’s weekend breakfast show centered its discussion on the negative impact of Maternal Mortality in Africa.

With a reported 545-630 cases of mortality out of 1000 births in both rural and urban centres, health professionals were asked to throw light on the efforts put in place to reduce the deaths in Nigeria.

Reacting, former physician to late business mogul and politician, MKO Abiola, Dr. Yemi Falomo called on women to be conscious of the changes in their bodies and visit the hospital for ante natal clinic.

He said women must visit the ante natal clinics as soon as she discovers that she is pregnant. The clinic helps to save a lot of problems and it helps her to cope with changes in her body and prepares her for child birth.

Speaking in the same vein, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris charged pregnant women to avoid some factors that leads to maternal mortality.

The factors, according to the commissioner, include:

I. Delay in accessing care or seeking care which could be as a result of ignorance of the fact that they are pregnant, lack of education and poverty.

II. Delay in accessing care of facility itself due to transportation, money, quality of staff, personnel and power

Motherhood is supposed to be a thing of joy and fulfilling experience but it is associated with suffering and ill health and sometimes death in Africa and particularly Nigeria.

One woman dies every 10 minutes during child birth in Nigeria – World Bank

About 40,000 women die annually in Nigeria during child birth while one woman dies every ten minutes across the country, giving it the highest maternal mortality recorded in the world.

The World Bank Country Director, Marie Françoise revealed this during the national gender dialogue session in Nigeria which held on Monday in Minna, the capital of Niger state, where the issue of gender inequality and the high rate of maternal mortality in the country attracted a filled hall for the event.

Also speaking at the event the gender head, United Nations Department for International Development (DFID)  Katja Jobes revealed that eighty percent of women in northern Nigeria cannot read or write.

She also affirmed that Nigeria has the highest maternal mortality in the world; a situation she noted is not good for the social- economic development of the country.

A recent study by UNICEF identified haemorrhage as the main cause of maternal mortality in the country.

Experts at the event are of the opinion that no meaningful development can take place in the country without the active participation of the womenfolk who formed a significant part of the country’s population.

Others believe that contrary to belief in some quarters and practice in some parts of the country, the role of the woman has gone beyond the kitchen and childbearing.