Stakeholders set to reduce maternal deaths in Nigeria
Nigeria has been rated as one of the countries with the worst maternal mortality ratios. A recent United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) report states that every 10 minutes, a woman dies on account of pregnancy and childbirth in Nigeria.
Stakeholders, governments and individuals have been urged to address and curb the high maternal deaths, through enlightenment, advocacy and empowerment in their various communities.
President and founder, The Ark Foundation, Mr. Olakitan Ogunkoya, made the call at organisation’s event with a theme “End to Maternal Mortality in Nigeria Campaign” held at Orchid Hotel Lekki Lagos. The aim of the event was to unveil the maternal mortality campaign, to educate, sensitizes people on how to reduce maternal mortality across the states and 774 local governments in the country.
Ogunkoya said: “Nigeria is the worst hit in maternal mortality, we want every woman of reproductive age with pregnancy to come out alive with her child. These require a collective effort of all stakeholders to combat the menace.”
He disclosed that that from findings survey and research revealed that the people are less aware of the maternal mortality scourge even the women.
Ark Foundation President disclosed that he championed the course out of a personal tragic experience, when he lost his wife of 10 years to maternal death after the birth of their third child in a hospital by caesarian section in Lagos state. He disclosed that in the past two years, the foundation has enlightened and empowered over 1,000 women, families and 100 students on “maternal issues and challenges before and after pregnancy”. They have been screened and tested for high blood pressure, blood sugar, and free maternal consultation/treatment and welfare in the rural community through Ark Reach.
A medical practitioner, Dr. Aderemi Banjoke, told The Guardian “there is need for a collective and concerted effort on the part of government and people to combat maternal mortality like they did with Ebola Disease in Nigeria”. He added that information and knowledge applied is key, good will and huge funds from government could curb the scourge.
National coordinator, Partnership for Rural Women Development, Zanab Mohammed, charged women to get a lot medical knowledge from early pregnancy till delivery, take the necessary steps and treatments never to compare the days of their mothers to these modern times. She cautioned the healthcare givers to be more civil and concerned about handling pregnant women in labour, since they are trained to save lives.
Member, Board of Trustee, The Ark Foundation, Prince Azubike, urged the government, agencies, and private organizations to support the course, or collaborate with the Ark Foundation to reach more women and with knowledge on pre and post natal issues, direct and indirect causes of maternal mortality.