Ayodeji Ake

With a maternal mortality rate of 576 to 100,000 in Nigeria, the country records a daily occurrence of at least 111 maternal deaths related to pregnancy or childbearing, Pathfinder International Nigeria (PIN) had said.

Addressing journalists at a media stakeholders meeting recently in Lagos, Associate Director Reproductive Health and Family Planning, PIN, Dr. Habeed Salami, highlighted that the major causes of maternal mortality are; hemorrhage, hypertension, infections/sepsis, obstructed labour and abortion complication.

Salami noted that the only way to reduce the high mortality rate was by family planning which according to him can reduce it by 30 per cent.

“A lot of women that get pregnant, deliver, and few months after, you find out they are pregnant again. We have realised that when we invest in family planning, the maternal mortality rate can be drastically reduced. We are not saying couples shouldn’t have the number of desired children they want, but what we are advocating is that no woman should die from the process.

“Why we are here is to see to the reduction of maternal deaths. There are a lot of women dying on a daily basis but a lot of people are unaware. If maternal mortality can be reduced to one every month, then we can say we are making progress,” he added.

Speaking on Family Planning, the Financial Secretary, Public Health Sustainable Initiative (PHSAI), Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, said family planning will help mothers prepare adequately for their next pregnancy, as this will help in reducing maternal deaths.

He explained that the initiative has been ensuring the availability of free consumables from the government, adding that family planning be incorporated into budget line for Lagos State.

“Our mission is basically to improve the outcome of consumable. We discovered that even when these commodities are free, they are not properly managed. People are asked to pay for consumables which stand as a barrier. We are advocating that the consumables become free.

“We realised that family planning was not in Lagos State budget. Our continuous visitation and advocacy has enabled the creation of it in the budget. We as an organisation look forward to ensuring consumables are free,” he said.