Stemming the tide of maternal mortality in Nigeria
Sir: The attention drawn by Nigeria Health Watch to the increasing rate of maternal mortality in the country is an issue the Federal Government must take very seriously with a view to finding adequate solutions aimed at addressing it.
According to society, deaths arising from maternal issues ought not to be more than 70 in a hundred thousand live births but from existing records issued by the demographic survey, the recorded maternal deaths are as many as 512 which is anything but normal.
Moreover, according to the reports by the World Health Organisation, about a thousand maternal deaths are recorded in every hundred thousand live births and this is completely unacceptable. Women are not supposed to die during childbirth and the reason for the sad increase in Nigeria is never unconnected with government’s lackadaisical attitudes towards voting adequate funds to the nation’s health sector.
The Federal Government should therefore, as a matter of urgency, look into ways by which the sad trend will be reversed. The health sector should be put on the national priority list and leaders are not supposed to prefer medical tourism to developing their nation’s health sector to world’s standard in order to stem the tide of so many avoidable deaths sending Nigeria’s citizens to their early graves.
Most importantly, mothers in Nigeria ought to be rescued from the pang of maternal deaths and the right time is now.
Jide Oyewusi, coordinator of Ethics Watch International, Lagos.