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Review Nigeria’s healthcare system to reduce maternal mortality, stakeholders tell FG

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Stakeholders in the health sector have called for a comprehensive review of the country’s healthcare system to reduce maternal mortality.

They made the call on Thursday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the sixth Annual General Meeting and International Scientific Conference of the Association of Fetomaternal Medicine Specialists of Nigeria.

A Neonatologist at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Dr. Ayede-Adejumoke Idowu, said the review would bring about a drastic reduction in the high maternal mortality rate experienced by the country.

According to her, the review must revolve around both the primary and secondary healthcare facilities in the country.

She recommended that a functional primary healthcare facility with 24-hour coverage should be made available in each of the wards and every state in the country

Dr. Idowu, who said that Nigeria had been ranked as the highest in maternal mortality rate in the world, held that it was possible to reduce the figure if serious attention is paid to the most common cause.

According to her, drugs must be made available in all health facilities, and human capacity must be built around it to ensure prompt recognition of the factors that predispose women to it.

Dr. Idowu called on governments to embrace the Public Private Partnership initiatives in the health sector, so as to jointly tackle the challenges bedevilling the health sector, noting that “there is no country where the government does it alone”.

President of AFEMSON, Professor Saturday Etuk, also affirmed that Nigeria has the leading maternal mortality rate in the world and stressed the need to rub minds together to save the lives of women and children.

He said it is imperative for health workers to look inward and identify where the system went wrong and correct it on time with the support of the government.

According to him, there are so many challenges that have made women not to access good healthcare.

“Government must make provisions for health workers facilities, which is their paramount needs, to make women and children who are supposed to be the most beneficiaries do the right thing”.

Vice President of AFEMSON, Professor Jamilu Tukur, also decried the rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria, adding that there was a need to tackle the conditions that lead to high blood pressure and convulsion in women during pregnancy.

According to him, these signs are some of the reasons why women and babies die.

“Most women don’t come for antenatal care and if they come, they don’t receive the best care,” he added.

Prof. Tukur, who is the Provost, College of Health Science, Umaru Musa Yaradua University, Katsina, stated that there was a need to educate women on the importance of going for antenatal during pregnancy.

He added that those who go for antenatal do not get appropriate treatment, stressing that there was a need for them to get the best care when they come.

“Appropriate treatment and other medication must be given to those women who usually have high blood pressure during pregnancy, and then refer them early.

“Those with convulsion must also be given their own treatment. By doing all these, maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria will reduce”.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the event, Professor Aliyu Isah, said the three-day conference was meant to look at the challenges of maternal health issues and proffer solutions to them.

“Challenges to maternal health are enormous, and the current conference is poised to make participants rub minds on the way forward.

“It is our hope that the sessions will be fruitful and take home messages will impact positively on the health of our mothers throughout pregnancy and beyond.,” Isah said.




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