Medical professionals have called on the federal government to take urgent action to cut down the rising number of women and babies dying due to complications during childbirth.
The Association of Fetomaternal Medicine Specialists of Nigeria (AFEMSON) at their 6th Annual General Meeting and International Scientific Conference in Abuja, Friday raised concerns over the deteriorating situation on maternal health delivery in the country.
Dr Aliyu Yabagi Isah, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Abuja and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, who was also the chairman, Local Organising Committee of the conference, said they brought together specialists in the management of pregnant women and the babies that are about to be born to discuss their scientific discoveries in order to improve the health of pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Professor Isah said the improvement in maternal health in Nigeria was ‘very marginal, not significant” because implementation of experts’ recommendations has not received adequate attention from the executive and legislative arms of government as Nigeria leads in maternal deaths.
Dr Ayede Adejumoke, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and team leader, Perinatal Research Consortium of the university, said Nigeria was now topping the list of countries with highest maternal mortality.
He said the government needed to arrest the situation urgently as the country is now number one on the figure of women and babies dying due to treatable complications during delivery.
Dr Adejumoke recommended that the government must build and equip model primary health care centres in every ward, general hospitals in every local government, federal medical centres in every senatorial district, in addition to referral hospitals in every geopolitical zone of the country to strengthen the health care delivery system in the country.
The consultant also appealed to the government at all levels to, as a matter of urgency, employ more health workers across the country because the system is collapsing due to the exodus of health professionals, leaving the country to seek a better future abroad.