High Cost Of Antenatal Care Put Mothers, Babies At Risk – UNICEF

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UNICEF

By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos

It has been confirmed that poor mothers are not receiving quality maternal healthcare due to prohibitive costs.
This state of affairs has put millions of mothers at risk, because they lack access to quality healthcare services and skilled professionals.
UNICEF said this today in a new analysis on maternal health.
It observed that among mothers undergoing the experience are victims of child marriage.
According to UNICEF, “more than five million families across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Carribean spent over 40 per cent of their non-food household expenses on maternal health services every year.
Nearly two-thirds of these households, or three million, are in Asia while approximately 1.9 million are in Africa, the United Nations (UN) organ pointed out.
According to the analysis, the costs of antenatal care and delivery services can deter pregnant women from seeking medical attention, thereby endangering the lives of mothers and their babies.
“For far too many families, the sheer costs of child birth can be catastrophic.  If a family cannot afford these costs, the consequences can even be fatal,” said UNICEF’s Executive Director, Henrietta Fore.
When families cut corners to reduce maternal healthcare costs, both mothers and their babies suffer, Fore stressed.
The gap between the poorest and the richest is more than double in West and Central Africa, UNICEF disclosed.
It regretted that doctors, nurses and midwives play a critical role in saving lives, yet millions of births occur every year without a skilled attendant.

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