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NGO vows to reduce maternal mortality rate by 5% in December 2023

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The Maternal Reproductive Health Research Collective, a non-governmental organisation, says that its programme, campaigns and financial support for women will go a long way to reducing the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria by five per cent by December 2023.

Professor Bosede Afolabi, Chairperson, MRHR Collective, made this known at a news conference organised by the organisation on Thursday in Lagos.

She said that the organisation’s collective campaign tagged ‘Women For Her’ is targeted at saving the lives of 5,000 pregnant women in rural communities by ensuring that they do not die during childbirth.

Afolabi further explained that the objective was to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria by five per cent between October and December 2023.

According to her, the organisation planned to achieve the target by ensuring that indigent women have access to quality healthcare, receive the needed information and give birth in a safe, skilled care environment.

According to her, MRHR Collective campaigns will provide health financing support for institutional interventions and care delivery at the grassroots to women using traditional and innovative finance vehicles in partnership with the public, private and development sectors.

She decried the fact that Nigeria had the highest number of maternal mortality, saying that the country contributed to 30 per cent of the global maternal mortality rate.

“Maternal mortality occurs in the urban areas but it is more common in the rural communities where access to healthcare is usually a challenge. We believe that part of the cause is that most women are not well-informed.

“So, awareness is key and that’s why part of our programme is centred on awareness campaigns to ensure that women have access to the needed information and care before, during and after pregnancy.

“The targeted 5,000 indigent pregnant women will be picked from rural communities, registered in healthcare facilities and ensure that they give birth under safe, secured and skilled healthcare,” she added.

Also speaking, Mrs. Temitayo Etomi, Board Member, MRHR Collective, said the ‘Women For Her’ campaign is aimed at raising N100m that would go into saving 5,000 Nigerian women from maternal mortality.

According to her, statistics show that 82,000 women died in 2020 at childbirth, and noted that the goal is to put an end to the trend because maternal mortality can totally be prevented.

She explained that part of the activities to inaugurate the campaign was the grand finale – the ‘maternal health walk’ scheduled for Oct. 28, where every participant will register with the sum of N20,000.

According to her, “Statistics show that it costs N20,000 to have a safe delivery free from maternal mortality.

“So, if a person registers for the maternal health walk with N20,000, it means that such an individual has succeeded in saving one pregnant woman from maternal mortality.

“And if 5,000 pregnant women are saved from dying at childbirth between October to December, that will translate to reducing the maternal mortality by five per cent,” Etomi said.

Prof. Abidoye Gbadegesin, Chairman, Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter, identified primary postpartum haemorrhage as a major causative factor of maternal mortality.

He said bleeding (haemorrhage) after childbirth and other birth complications contributed to a greater percentage of maternal mortality in Nigeria.

According to him, poverty and lack of access to quality healthcare, long trekking during labour to health facilities, and lack of adequate preparation for delivery among others can cause a woman to die during delivery.

Gbadegesin, who applauded the Initiative, reiterated the readiness of the Society to partner any organisation on programmes to reduce maternal mortality, which he said was high at five digits in Nigeria while other countries are dealing with a single digit.

(NAN)

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