Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate is still high, with the oil-rich nation recording over 58,000 deaths in 2015, as documented in a recent report.

The West African nation, with its abundant resources, has the second highest burden of maternal mortality in the world.

It contributes about 15% of the annual total global deaths which represent 2% of the global population.

"This should not be so", an expert has said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and World Bank collaborated to publish Nigeria’s maternal mortality report which was presented on Wednesday.

A member of the team, Dr Olusola Odujinrin made the presentation at the 2017 Annual Faculty Day Lecture by the Faculty of Public Health and Community Medicine, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.

The conference with the theme Transition in Global Health Paradigms: What Hope for the Nigerian Women and Children?, was held at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja.

Dr Odujinrin told the gathering that it was rather alarming to see Nigeria down the ladder of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in spite of the abundance of its economic strength.

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Some of the factors contributing to the high Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) are;

1. Flawed government policies

2. Insufficient Education

3. Culture

4. Religion.

“It is most unfortunate that we are at this level of needless death as recorded by the international agencies where Nigerian women lost their lives to pregnancy and child related causes.

“The most worrisome is the report from North-East where MMR is highest: 1,549/100,000 live births in comparison to the South-West zone where 165/100,000 was recorded,” she explained.

One thing she emphasised is the need for the statistics to change urgently.

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“The progress in reducing maternal ratio has been to slow. According to the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) reports for 2008 and 2013, Nigeria achieved practically no reduction in MMR,” she added.

One way to address the trend is consistent improvement to medical facilities to ensure quality health services are delivered to patients.


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