Connection between Nigeria and the United States of America (USA) has been described as profoundly important, stressing that family ties, ideas and democracy linked both nations.
This was disclosed by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, at an Alumni Strategic Leadership Workshop, held in Abuja, themed “Promoting Alumni Programmes and Networks in Nigeria.”
President of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, Professor Oladapo Ladipo says the number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth complications every year in Nigeria is "one of the greatest injustices of our time."
"It is shameful that Nigeria still contributes significantly to global maternal death figure. We estimate that we are losing about 58,000 mothers annually, through pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum complications," Ladipo said.
Imagine, the traumatic torture of pregnant women who daily see, hear of the deaths of a fellow pregnant women dying from complications relating to pregnancy and child births.
Unfortunately, Nigeria with over 160 million people contributes 10 percent of the world annual maternal death. The figure stands at 52,000 deaths per annum from complications relating to pregnancy and child births, this is alarming.
Women’s health indicators for Nigeria rank among the worst in the world. Nearly 30% of its women aged 15-19 year are or have been married and more than a fifth of the women begin child-bearing in their teens. The maternal mortality ratio stands at 545 deaths per 100 000 live births nationwide but nearly double that ratio (1026) in the North-West region.
The attitude of some husbands in Bauchi state constituted a threat to the well-being of their pregnant wives more than other challenges, the Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (BSPHCDA), Mr Adamu Gamawa said on Tuesday.
Briefing newsmen in Bauchi on the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW), Gamawa said such husbands had prevented their pregnant wives from attending antenatal clinics (ANC).
Theirs is not lack of facilities as Jigawa State boasts a number of medical facilities even at the grassroots, but the problem is that the facilities have far too few personnel and too little equipment and drugs to be of much help to the residents.
Buji Local Government Area with a population of 92,371, made up of crop farmers and Fulani herdsmen, is an example. Its headquarters, Gantsa, hosts local, state and even federal agencies such the police and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others.
After losing her fourth child during delivery at the house of her regular traditional birth attendant (TBA), 42 year–old Kemi Ariyo contracted spiritualists to get to the root of her problems. “I was widely accused to be a witch as a result of the demise of my babies,” Kemi said. “So I approached the spiritualists who pray for pregnant women and see to the delivery of their babies”.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko, of Ondo State has implored the incoming Rotimi Akeredolu administration to build on its Mother and Child healthcare policies so that pregnancy will not again be a “death sentence in the state.”
Mimiko gave this charge in Akure during the 2nd anniversary of the initiative, where he was lauded by stakeholders for the accomplishments made in the eight years of his administration, especially in the health sector.