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FG targets safe motherhood with guidelines

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By Abraham Adekunle

Reducing maternal mortality and improving newborn health through enhanced care.

Nigeria has launched new guidelines aimed at improving mother’s and newborn health, targeting at least seven million pregnant women and six million newborn births annually. The guidelines, launched by the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Ali Pate, aim to reduce female parent mortality and morbidity by ensuring safe motherhood. According to Professor Pate, “Safe motherhood can be achieved when every pregnant woman receives all the pillars of safe motherhood, including full antenatal care, skilled and facility-based delivery, quality care at the facility, integrated postnatal care, including family planning, and dealing with all the underlying causes of the mortality.”

He emphasized that safe motherhood is crucial to improving the life expectancy and quality of life of Nigerian women. Despite the progress made, Nigeria still has a high burden of preventable mother’s deaths, with postpartum hemorrhage remaining a leading cause of female mortality and newborn mortality. The government has committed to increasing investment in healthcare, including the approval of 25 billion naira from the Basic Health Care Provision Fund to ensure quality healthcare and reduce maternal mortality.

Progress is slowed despite world leaders’ involvement.

Globally, every two minutes, nine newborn babies and one mother die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, resulting in 2.7 million annual tragedies. World leaders have promised to address maternal and newborn health, along with other major problems, by 2030, but progress is happening far slower than it should. Research has shown that investing in both the mother and the baby’s health is one of the best ways to deliver on global promises. Increasing access to family planning and Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC) can save millions of lives and lead to significant economic growth.

BEmONC includes simple procedures such as neonatal resuscitation and kangaroo mother care, which can be delivered at low cost by nurses and midwives. In Nigeria, only 40% of women give birth in facilities, compared to two-thirds of women in other countries. Increasing access to BEmONC and family planning can help reduce mortality in mothers and babies, and lead to a significant increase in income per capita, known as the ‘demographic dividend’. Investing in their health is not only low-cost but one of the best ways to deliver on global promises.

NPHDA, NHIA tasked with providing quality healthcare.

The annual cost of $3.7 billion can deliver overall benefits of fewer deaths and higher economic growth worth $322 billion every year. Also, the Nigerian government has recognized the importance of healthcare in achieving sustainable development goals. President Bola Tinubu has unveiled the Nigerian Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative, which aims to improve population health outcomes through a sector-wide approach. The initiative includes a compact between the 36 governors, development partners, and the federal government to ensure quality healthcare for all Nigerians.

Additionally, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the National Health Insurance Authority have been tasked with ensuring quality healthcare in reducing maternal mortality, access to basic emergency obstetric care, comprehensive emergency obstetric care, and availability of necessary commodities for safe delivery. The launch of the new guidelines and increased investment in healthcare is a significant step towards achieving safe motherhood in Nigeria. However, more needs to be done to address the underlying causes of maternal mortality and ensure that all women have access to quality care for mothers, regardless of their location or socio-economic status.

Related Article: Promoting maternal healthcare is crucial

In all, Nigeria’s new guidelines and increased investment in healthcare aim to improve maternal and newborn health, reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. Globally, investing in maternal and newborn health is critical to delivering on promises made by world leaders, and can lead to substantial economic growth and development. The Nigerian government’s commitment to healthcare is a step in the right direction, and it is hoped that other countries will follow suit to ensure that all women and newborns have access to quality care and a chance to thrive.


Related Link

World Health Organization: Website


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