By Lilian U. Okoro
The Maternal Reproductive Health Research (MRHR) Collective, an NGO, says that its programme, campaigns and financial support for women,will reduce maternal mortality rate in Nigeria by five per cent by December 2023.
Prof. Bosede Afolabi, Chairperson, MRHR Collective, made this known at a news conference organised by the organisation on Thursday in Lagos.
Afolabi said that MRHR Collective campaigns tagged “Women For Her” targets to save the lives of 5,000 pregnant women at the rural communities, by ensuring that they do not die at child birth.
She said the objective was to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria by five per cent between October and December 2023.
She explained that the organisation planned to achieve the target by ensuring that the indigent women have access to quality healthcare, received the needed information and give birth under a safe and skilled care environment.
According to her, MRHR Collective campaigns will provide health financing support for institutional interventions and care delivery at the grassroots to the women using traditional and innovative finance vehicles in partnership with public, private and development sector.
She decried that Nigeria had the highest number of women dying at child birth, saying that the country contributed to 30 per cent of the global maternal mortality.
She said,l: “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 believed that part of the causes is that most women are not well informed.
“So, awareness is key and that’s why part of our programme centered 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 the rural communities, registered in healthcare facilities and ensured that they give birth under a safe, secured and skilled healthcare”.
Speaking, Mrs Temitayo Etomi, Board Member, MRHR Collective, said that the ‘Women For Her’ campaign aimed at raising N100 million that would go into savings 5,000 Nigerian women from maternal mortality.
According to her, statistics shows that 82,000 women died in 2020 at childbirth, saying 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 – ‘maternal health walk’ scheduled for Oct. 28, where every participant will register with the sum of N20,000.
“Statistics shows that it cost 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 individual has succeeded in saving one pregnant woman from maternal mortality.
“And if 5,000 pregnant women are saved from dying at child birth 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 (SOGON), Lagos Chapter, identified primary postpartum hemorrhage as major causative factor of maternal mortality.
Gbadegesin said that bleeding (hemorrhage) after child birth 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, lack of adequate preparation for delivery among others can cause a woman to die during delivery.
Gbadegesin, who applauded the Initiative, reiterated 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 were dealing with a single digit. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vivian Ihechu