By; Abdull-Azeez Ahmed Kadir, Zaria.
Worried by the high level of maternal and child mortality rate in Nigeria, especially at the grass root, a Non Governmental organization Prime Diamond Initiative for Community Health (Pdich) has organized a one sensitization seminar in Zaria for pregnant women on the need to take maternal and child health serious.
The founder of the NGO, Nasa Ebiere said the sensitization is meant to aid the well being of pregnant women; pre, during and post pregnancy, girls and newborn to prevent death by low cost interventions that address the key issues affecting maternal and newborn health at various levels.
She said, the organization was established through programmes and partnership with local and national agencies to assist in reducing maternal and new born mortality.
According to her, Pdich in partnership with Social Welfare Initiative for Community Health and Life First Foundation supported by National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the Kaduna State Government to host the maternal and child health seminar with the theme “Every life Matters”.
“We intend to host maternal health talk, basic health checks, prenatal and post natal care, nutrition, family planning. In Nigeria, statistics report that one in three women die at child birth, 62% of births in Nigeria still occur at home especially in rural areas” she stressed.
According to her, maternal deaths are clustered around labour delivery hemorrhage, infection, hypertensive disorder, maternal sepsis, unsafe abortion, problems in maternal care which includes malaria, HIV/AIDs, diarrhea, pneumonia are all preventable diseases.
She noted that, malnutrition is an underlying cause of morbidity and mortality of under-5 children. “In Nigeria, much indicators while improving are still at very tragic levels, the numbers are still stubbornly high and the question still remains why?” she enthused.
“Why are targets not met and programmes fail? She asked asserting that “things need to change, we appreciate everyone and every organisation putting efforts to curb this menace in our society”.
She said there are also huge task ahead to tackle the menace with “suggestive ways to improve maternal health in our rural areas of conflict and extreme poverty which shouldn’t be negotiable. Recruit local staff i.e TBA into the PHC facilities, target the most marginalized, get men and husbands involved, work with health partners, decision makers to support and strengthen the health system access to free contraception and family planning”
She challenged individuals, group, society, companies, organisations, state and federal government to continue to fight this cause. “Every individual has a feminine figure in their lives, be it friend, colleague, partner, wife, sister most especially mother” she said.
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai said his administration would bring health care system closer to the community to reduce mortality and good health service delivery
El-rufai who was represented by Dr Habila Mua’zu of the state ministry of health said they had initiated ward health system whereby in every ward, a particular hospital will be developed and equipped.
The Specialized Ward Health Centres will refer patients to secondary health care if and when the need arise he stressed. The Ward Health Centres at the grassroot would reduce the stress of patients travelling long distance to access health facility.
The Governor assure that the state government is more than willing to partner with any health service delivery organization to better the lives of its citizen as free maternal and child health service is ongoing and the service will be further strengthened.
In an interview with the Imam of the community, Mallam Aliyu Ibrahim Altukuri expressd satisfaction with the initiative.
According to him, the community is enlighten on the impact of the programme for women. He assured that they would continue to preach to men to regularly allow their pregnant wives go for medical check-up during and after pregnancy.