MamaYe, an evidence-based advocacy non governmental organisation, championing the health of women and children, has called on pregnant Nigerian women to have at least four antenatal visits if their pregnancy is progressing normally.
It said the first visit should be within the first three months of pregnancy and not later than four months, the next visit should be within six months, then eight months, while the last one should be at the ninth month.
Stating this during the training of Super Activists on Maternal and Newborn Health in Abeokuta recently, MamaYe Campaign Lead, Mrs. Fola Richie-Adewusi, said each visit should include care appropriate to the woman’s overall condition and stage of pregnancy, as well as help her for prepare for birth and care of the newborn.
According to her, if problems or potential problems that will affect the pregnancy are detected, the frequency of antenatal visits should be increased.
She said when a pregnant woman goes for her first antenatal visit, the doctor was expected to carry out a general examination and find out about her medical and family history. “During further visits, tests are expected to be carried out to know the growth and development of the baby and the mother’s health. In this way, any problem can be treated quickly and appropriately.”
Explaining, Richie-Adewusi said most of the maternal and child deaths occur when adequate antenatal visits or proper examinations are not done during the course of the pregnancy, adding that every pregnant woman should consider it a priority to have the recommended antenatal visits, as this would guarantee a positive outcome during and after delivery for her and the baby.
She also harped on the need for pregnant women to deliver at health facilities with the help of skilled birth attendants. “This is very important because the pregnant women can be assisted if any complication arises.
Also lending his voice, the Country Director, MamaYe said, Dr. Babatunde Segunsaid in reducing maternal and newborn deaths in the country, there should be functional blood banks for screened bloods to be kept for emergencies. “This is very important because the highest killers of pregnant women is bleeding. Magnesium sulphate should also be present in all health facilities because eclampsia is a one of the highest cause of death in pregnant women.”
He said when these are put in place coupled with a functional health system with adequate funding, maternal health will improve in the country.
“Also, for the newborn, prematurity is one of the highest killers, we need to have functioning equipments to deal with this,” he added.
He therefore called on the trained super activists to ensure they champion causes on maternal and newborn health in their communities, as only collective efforts can reduce maternal and newborn deaths in the country.