SOCIETY of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria said, yesterday, that no fewer than 11,600 maternal deaths were recorded in Nigeria in the last three months, adding that 45 cases were recorded daily.
This came as the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, said the state would establish emergency toll-free lines solely designated for maternal cases.
Speaking at the Lagos West I Senatorial District Town Hall Meeting for maternal and child mortality reduction programme, at Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Chairman Lagos State Chapter of the Society, Dr. Oluwarotimi Akinola, said: “Nigeria accounts for a disproportionate 10 percent of the global maternal deaths. This ranked the country as the second highest in the world after India.
“The major causes of the high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria are hemorrhage infection, hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, obstructed labour and anaemia. Any effort by the government to drastically reduce maternal mortality rates must address the root causes of delays in seeking health care, accessing healthcare and receiving help at the centre.”
Mrs Fashola said: “These lines would ensure that whenever any pregnant women are about to deliver, she can get help easily even when any of her relatives aren’t available.
“The lines will be the same as the already established emergency toll free lines 767 and 112.
“The death of a pregnant woman or death after childbirth is a painful event with great social and economic impact on the family and the country.
“At the close of work today, about 800 women from different countries would have died from complications related to pregnancy and child birth.
“99 percent (792) of these will occur in developing countries, including Nigeria.
“This statistic, released by the Chairman of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Lagos sector, is alarming for a country that is regarded as the giant of Africa.
“This day (yesterday) will now be observed annually as Lagos State Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Day.”
“Let us bear in mind that the statistic can be reduced drastically only if pregnant women and mothers of children under five years visit the over 60 Primary Health Care, PHC, centres constructed across the state by the government, to get information on what to do when faced with challenging condition during pregnancy, childbirth and after delivery.
“The importance of this town hall meeting initiated by the state government is to sensitise residents of the state, especially nursing and mothers-to-be, on the maternal and child mortality reduction programme launched on October 18, 2012 by the governor.