Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
Pathfinder International, a non-governmental organisation, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), said it has reduced maternal mortality ratio in Cross River State by 66 per cent.
In its programme, “Saving Mother, Giving Life Initiative” which has existed for four and half years, it claims early neo-natal mortality has also been reduced by 37 per cent, while increase in hospital delivery has improved by 32 per cent.
The Country Director, Pathfinder International, Nigeria, Dr. Farouk Jega who disclosed this in Abuja during a stakeholder meeting recently, said Cross River State was chosen as one of the focal states because the region has been identified for its neglect of hospitals during delivery as compared to mission homes.
He said through the creation of awareness, mothers now have dual benefits as they can deliver in hospitals where skilled and experienced birth attendants are present and still enjoy the spiritual exercise of prayers.
“We have been able to reduce hospital bills, maternal mortality ratio by 66 per cent, early neo-natal mortality rate by 37 per cent. These results have shown us that early preventable maternal deaths can be achieved. It also shows that it can be within a relatively short period of time.
“Most importantly, we have to make that political commitment that saving the lived of our mothers and babies are worthwhile.
“Cross River was selected as one of the focus states for many reasons. These include demography and socioeconomic reasons, but most importantly, it has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country and it has one of the highest deliveries outside hospitals,” he said.
He added that with more commitment and partnership from the government, more success stories can be achieved and recorded.