Worried by the reoccurring cases of maternal infant mortality, the government has been called upon to find a lasting solution to the scourge.
This call was came at a media briefing organised by Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) and Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR) with the support of MacArthur Foundation on ‘Assessing the efforts of government on Reduction of Maternal Mortality and promotion of Women”s maternal Health in Nigeria.
Executive Director WARDC, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, describes maternal mortality as one of the most neglected health problems and human rights abuse in the world. “Failure to address the continued needless deaths, has implication for usas a country and will continue to shape indicators on health, poverty and other development issues,” she says.
According to Akiyode-Afolabi, it is important to address women’s health rights because of the alarming rate of maternal deaths recorded in Nigeria. “With most of our health facilities becoming a place where most indigent women die needlessly in a bid to perform their reproductive functions,” she said.
This, Afolabi said, was based on some of the findings of the scoping assessment conducted by WARDC in Lagos and Kaduna States focusing on accessibility of health facilities to women, adequacy of the facilities to support maternal health, affordability and the response of health care givers of the facilities, particularly low income women.
Giving her report on most primary health centers in Kaduna State, Bridge Joseph, a staff of WARDC said some of the PHC in the State are dilapidated, those with good facilities are without drugs. Joseph also pointed out that most Internally Displaced People Camps (IDPs) are in a deplorable state.
“Most women prefer going to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) than Primary Health Centres” she said.
Bukola Osidibo another member of WARDC, while reporting on findings, highlighted lack of competent medical personnel and medical infrastructures as some of the reasons for maternal infant mortality.
Given the extremely high rate of maternal mortality, Afolabi therefore charged the three tiers of Government to take steps to strengthen the implementation and effectiveness of its many initiatives to reduce maternal mortality and increase access to quality maternal health care.
“Though government is claiming to play its part in this area, but a lot still need to be done as well as address the deplorable state of IDPs,” Akiyode-Afolabi opined.