Pathfinders International has revealed that hospital-based maternal mortality rate has reduced by 66 percent while early neonatal rate has dropped by 37 per cent in Nigeria.
Country Direction, Pathfinders International, Dr Farouk Jega disclosed this while presenting the organization’s report of the implementation on Saving Mothers, Giving Life Initiative in Cross River State.
Dr. Jega said South- South states especially the riverine areas, operate the highest level of births outside health facilities in Nigeria, hence the need to ensure adequate provision is made to reduce maternal mortality rate outside hospitals.
The team leader of United States Agency for International Development (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health), Vathani Amirthanayagam, has however called on the Federal Government to train traditional birth attendants as community mobilisers for women on health issues.
Amirthanayagam said the TBAs should be trained in current protocols about births and the use of health facilities .
She said , “They should be used as community mobilisers and allowed to get access to women; they should be allowed to take women to the facilities
“They have a role, maybe the way they have learnt in giving birth is not helpful to women when they get into complications.
“We should use them as traditional health workers to identify women and refer them to facilities that have all the things needed if there are complications.”
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, A. M. Abdullahi, represented by the Director of Reproductive Health, Dr Kayode Afolabi , said “maternal mortality is a major public health emergency.”
Source – The Punch