Records 54,000 Maternal Deaths yearly, Says Commissioner

Records 54,000 Maternal Deaths yearly, Says Commissioner

Postby Richard Akindele » Mon May 29, 2006 3:22 pm

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Tola Kasali, has disclosed that Nigeria records 54,000 maternal deaths annually due to pregnancy related factors and complications.

The statistics also put the rural community maternal deaths as high as 1,549 per 100,000 live births in the country.

The commissioner made the disclosure in Lagos during this year's National Safe Motherhood Day.

He said the figure was based on the national estimate that puts maternal mortality rate at 800 per 100,000 live births, adding that the current maternal mortality estimate matches with the situation in the country.

Kasali bemoaned the situation in the rural communities, which he described as "disadvantaged with sometimes as high as 1,549 per 100,000 live births".

The commissioner, who quoted the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports, said Nigeria has the highest maternal mortality rate in the sub- Saharan Africa. According to him, Nigeria accounts for 10 per cent of the global estimate of 525,000.

He also said only 64 per cent of all births in the country receives antenatal care from skilled attendants while 42 per cent of delivery depends on trained traditional birth attendants.

"This development is responsible for the 75 per cent per 1,000 infant mortality rate in the country."

Kasali said it was to curtail the increase that the Federal Government in 1998 declared May 22 of every year as the National Safe Motherhood Day. This year’s theme is, "Reducing Maternal and New-born Deaths: a Skill and dedicated workforce makes the difference".

He said the Lagos State Government is not just planning to reduce the rate but wants to ensure that the outcome of every pregnancy is a healthy mother and a healthy baby. Other strategies include skill development and making it a priority by investing in a skilled and dedicated workforce.

As part of the free health care programme of the state government, he said more midwives, nurses and medical doctors are being trained from various health institutions to strengthen the manpower need of the state.

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