Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has said that despite Nigeriaâ€™s current rating as second to last country on the Maternal Mortality index scale in Africa, it is possible for the country to achieve a below 100 ratio by the year 2030 and 300 maternal mortality rate in 2018.
This, he said is possible if the government can strengthen the various social intervention programmes noting that there is a strong correlation between maternal mortality and level of social and economic development of any country.
Adewole stated this recently in Abuja, while inaugurating the Task Force on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria at the Conference Room of the Ministry.
According to him, a vivid analysis of the global and national trends in maternal mortality revealed that while the ratio is decreasing globally, the ratio in Nigeria is far below average, stressing that the rate has continued a downward turn and that Nigeria is â€next to the worst which is Chad.â€
Lamenting the enormity of maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, he said while Nigeria contributed only 2.4 percent to the global population, it is unfortunate that the country contributes 14 percent to global maternal mortality, a trend which he said need to be reversed.
The minister said, the ministry in an effort to reverse this trend in line with the global United Nations development goals has put together seasoned experts as members of the Task Force to achieve the Social Development Goal Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) target of 70 per 1000 live birth in 2030. And bring down maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria. He said currently statistics indicate that Nigeriaâ€™s Maternal Mortality Ratio is 576 per 1000 live births.
He added that current major causes of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria are Haemorrhage 22 per cent, Hypertensive diseases 12 per cent, Infections 15 per cent, Unsafe Abortion 13 per cenr, Obstructed labour 8 per cent, and Indirect causes 20 per cent, with Hypertensive disorders and Unsafe abortion assuming greater proportion.
Adewole said the six states in Nigeria with the worst maternal health indicators using the Skilled Birth Attendance Rate (SBAs) as proxy indicators and which will serve as the pilot states for the Task Force assignment are; Sokoto (5.4 per cent), Zamfara (6.1 per cent), Jigawa (7.6 per cent), Katsina (7.7 per cent), Kebbi (9.3 per cent), and Yobe (10.2 per cent), adding that Kaduna and Oyo States will serve as control role models.
â€œOur target is that maternal mortality must be less than 100, it canâ€™t be 1000. Anything less than two digit is unacceptable. We will love to see that in2018 we make 300 per 1000 as we move on with the intervention,” he said.
He charged the members of the Task Force to come up with a road map with three months and recommend the immediate mid- term and long term reduction of maternal mortality, conduct a rapid situation analysis and landscaping of maternal mortality in the country and document any other recommendations that may strengthen the Nigerian Health System with a view to improving maternal health nationwide.