Nigeria has declared a state of Emergency on Maternal and Child Mortality, through the NPHCDA Reproductive Maternal, Newborn and Child Health + Nutrition platform. This is sequel to the drive of the wife of the President MRS Ashia Buhari under the Project future assured involving wives of 36 state Governors, led by Dr Linda Ayade who is the mother and child ambassador for the state and region. The aim is to see that the embarrassingly high numbers of maternal and child deaths are significantly reduced within the next two years!
At the official launch in Abuja, the Executive Director of the agency, Dr. Faisal Shuiab while Presenting the Agency’s Strategic Approach to Rapidly Reduce Maternal and child mortality at the Primary Health Care and Community Levels, decried the rate of maternal and child mortality in the world. “Worse still, in the last 25 years, Nigeria made the 5th worst progress among 20 countries that had the worst maternal mortality ratios from 1990. Over the same period, war-challenged countries with wide-scale humanitarian crisis such as Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Sudan made better progress than we did”, he said.
The Executive Director said that the mortality statistics in Nigeria is alarming and called for prompt action. “It is with deep sadness, but a sense of responsibility that I want to remind you of the following statistics for maternal and under-five child mortality in Nigeria: Every day in Nigeria, approximately 145 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
This is equivalent to having 1 Boeing 737-300 series aeroplane, fully loaded with 145 women crashing every single day in Nigeria, and killing everyone on board. Every day in Nigeria, approximately 2,300 children under 5 years die mainly from preventable causes. Similarly, this is equivalent to having 15 Boeing 737-300 series aeroplanes, fully-loaded with 145 children under 5 years old, crashing every single day in Nigeria, and killing all the children on board.
1 out of every 10 Children less than 5 years old that dies in the world is a Nigerian 1 out of every 8 Nigerian children die before having a chance to celebrate his or her 5th Birthday”, Dr. Shuaib said.
Dr Betta Edu Director General of the Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency said there must be a sense of urgency to reverse this trend all across Nigeria given our knowledge that these deaths are occurring amongst our mothers, aunties, children, relatives, neighbours, community members and citizens. We need to break the culture of silence over these preventable deaths. Nigeria’s must speak true to power and hold both its leaders, community members and health workers accountable for their actions and inactions that have led to the continued rise in maternal and child mortality.
She added that that the Cross River State Primary health agency working with the health sector and the wife of the Governor Dr Linda Ayade who is even more passionate and saddened about what is happening will commits to urgently take action to provide leadership to rapidly reverse maternal, newborn and child deaths by half by 2021 through interventions that target the primary health care and community levels.
She said that the Pro- health Governor Sen Ben Ayade is a goal getter and when he sets his mind on anything he will ensure it is accomplished “ My Governor is totally committed to this. You can take his words to the bank; things must change” The official launch is expected on the second week of may. While special lines have been dedicated to ensure communities and health workers can reach the RMNCH+N committee that is expected to meet daily, make calls and ask questions to hold people accountable for every death of a mother or child in any community.