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Low-income women seek government’s intervention on maternal mortality 


Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode

Women in Lagos State have called on the government to provide quality medical care, especially for low-income women at the grassroots, to protect their human right to life.

They also agitate for improved healthcare system, timely response to emergencies and detailed costing of drugs and other medical charges that do not come free.This charge was made yesterday at a town hall meeting organised by the Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) with low-income women and government health care providers.

According to the Executive Director of WARDC, Dr. Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode: “The death of women during pregnancy or delivery is a major public health problem, especially of infants/children.

“This is even double when the mother dies in childbirth due to lack of everyday care and provision, which weakens the child’s chances of reaching better life standards.”

“Maternal health issue is a human rights concern and the government has the obligation to ensure that women’s human rights are respected, promoted and protected. “It is our belief that beyond the much-touted medical and social reasons for maternal deaths, preventable and needless deaths of women at childbirth constitute a violation of fundamental rights, including right to life and right to family life.”

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, represented by Dr. Omoera Victoria, said government was aware of needs in its hospitals and sought public cooperation for effective service delivery.
Director of Health Education, Mrs. Owojuyigbe Modupe, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Are Suwebat Iyabo, acknowledged lack of manpower at health facilities, but assured that government was working towards an increase next year.

She told women to only pay for services with costs clearly written out in the hospitals and make complaints where necessary. “I also enjoin women to make themselves available for sessions where they are educated on their wellbeing. That way, maternal mortality will be at bay.”

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