‘Why Nigeria loses 2,300 children, 145 women daily’
• Report identifies problems, govt moves against maternal, infant deaths
More reasons have emerged why Nigeria loses 2,300 under-five children and 145 women of child-bearing age daily.A report on maternal and child health released yesterday in Abuja by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) listed some of the causative factors to include inadequate health facilities, as the nation currently owns 30,000 of such which are not fully functional.
It also captured shortage of critical human resources; inadequate power or water supply; commodity stock-outs; equipment inadequacy; weak standards/quality, very low demand for critical services largely driven by loss of confidence in the system, as only 38 per cent and 58 per cent of women have skilled births and ante natal care (ANC).
Other key findings of the report on the Agency’s Strategic Approach to Rapidly Reduce Such Mortality at the Primary Health Care and Community Levels presented by the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, at a stakeholders meeting are: “Nigeria has maternal mortality rate of 560/100,000 live births, which means 33,000 women die each year and one in nine maternal deaths worldwide is a Nigerian.
“Nigeria has made no progress in maternal mortality for 29 years. The country accounts for 14 per cent of global maternal death burden.“Infant mortality rate is 75/1,000 live births, which is eight per cent of the global total and an estimated 70 per cent of these deaths are preventable.”It added: “Child mortality rate is 117/1,000, which means one million deaths yearly and accounts for 10 per cent of the global total
“One in every eight Nigerian children dies before their fifth birthday.“Nearly 10 per cent of-new born deaths occur in Nigeria.”To address the menace, the NPHCDA boss said rapid and sustainable improvements in Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health in Nigeria (RMNCAH+N) were critical to restoring confidence in the health system and improving the overall health outcomes of the country.
Shuaib stated that a declaration of state of public health concern on maternal and child deaths had been tactically made with the decision to establish a National Coordination Centre (NCC) to provide oversights on RMNCAH + N activities at the primary health care (PHC) level.He said the goal was to reduce maternal and child deaths by 50 per cent by 2021 and ensure that no woman or child dies from preventable causes.
According to him, the mission is to promote awareness and an effective emergency response that address the three delays to care through an integrated approach.He said the objectives were to improve awareness and promote community involvement in interventions to reduce maternal and child mortality; strengthen coordination; leadership and accountability in RMNCAH+N programmes; increase data visibility; quality and use for action at all levels as well as improve detection and responsiveness in the resolution of the project’s service gap.