Medical practitioner urges better policies on maternal mortality
Iwuagwu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Alude Ibeme, Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo on Sunday.
According to the Executive Director of an Abuja-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Centre for the Right to Health (CRH), the success rate of the current policy on maternal mortality reduction was low.
She said maternal mortality rate in the rural communities was high because most health facilities in the areas still lacked basic equipments to deliver quality services to pregnant and nursing mothers.
She said: “the consequence of this situation has been the rise in the number of cases of maternal mortality.’’
Iwuagwu who was in Imo for the burial of her father, Livinus, said that she established her NGO in 1999 in memory of her younger sister who died during child birth.
She regretted that lack of basic equipment in rural health, a situation which led to the death of her sister, was still prevalent in primary health centres in the country.
“You might not believe it that investigations conducted by CRH, my NGO, showed that most primary health centres especially in the rural areas of Nigeria do not have hand gloves.
“This is the commonest material needed for health services.
“With the present problem of HIV/AIDS infections, health care providers sometime play safe and at time expose these pregnant mothers to complications that result in mortalities,’’ she said.
Iwuagwu, a doctorate degree holder in nursing, said that the country had yet to develop an efficient tracking system for dependable statistics on the nation’s maternal mortality figure.
She urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sustain and improve on some of the health policies of the past administration, especially the midwife scheme, to enhance maternal healthcare.
The executive director also advised men to show more concern about issues on women and child birth.
She added: “until men become more involved in issues pertaining to women and children through their actions and inactions maternal and infant mortality rates will not go down as desired”.