Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
A Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Professor Olabisi Morebise Loto has called on governments, healthcare providers and other individuals connected with childbirth to take steps in preventing maternal mortality in the country.
Delivering the 305 inaugural lecture of the university titled â€˜Give Me Children, Let Me Live: Combating the Misery of Infertility and Preventing Maternal Mortalityâ€™, Loto said governments should ensure hospitals were well equipped with necessary facilities and quality professionals that are capable of handling situations before, during and after childbirth.
He emphasised the need to ensure adequate funding for the health sector and improvement in the infrastructural development and the human capital development in the hospitals.
â€œPreparation for pregnancy and delivery is key. A pregnant woman and her husband should put some money apart in case of emergency and also liaise with a transporter for emergency transportation at night, if need be.
â€œHealth providers should constantly update their skills and knowledge so as to be aware of the current evidence-based best practices in the management of pregnancy, labour and delivery. They also need to improve their relationships with patients and their relatives so that they do not, inadvertently, drive them away from hospitals as a result of their attitude.
On infertility, Loto said prevention was far better and cheaper than cure. He added that living healthy lifestyles, such as avoiding alcohol, smoking and unhealthy dietary habits will help to reduce the risk of infertility.
His words: â€œPrevenntion is achieved through the avoidance of risky sexual behaviours that lead to pelvic infections, unwanted pregnancies and its termination as well as delivering babies in unhygienic places, which may lead to puerperal sepsis.â€
He called on healthcare providers to use every opportunity to canvas for healthy lifestyle and talk about prevention.