Nigeria is making significant progress in reducing their maternal death rate, and not surprisingly, it’s a back-to-basics approach that is making the difference.
Nigeria had the second highest burden of maternal mortality and was in the top five countries reporting a high number of child deaths.
“Ondo State reduced under-five mortality by 25 per cent and maternal mortality by 15 per cent in 2010, it stands to reason that if by 2010, it was 15 per cent, by 2015 it will reach 75 per cent.” […]
“We realised that only 16 per cent of the women who come for ante-natal return for delivery, meaning that 84 per cent of these women are giving birth elsewhere.”
Adeyanju said there was no way to ascertain the level of skills of the people that attended to such women or the safety of the equipment used.
He said that the first initiative of the programme was to keep track of the women by creating a register for pregnant women and assigning them to individual community health workers.
The commissioner said that the women were given prepaid mobile phones, with access to tricycle motorbikes, to help them to access their health care providers.
“The women were also directed to the nearest health care provider so that they would know the shortest distance to go when they need help.” […]
“…we are now looking at every pregnant Nigerian woman as flesh and blood and not statistics.”
Adeyanju called for aggressive sensitisation campaign on maternal issues and a clamp-down on hospital facilities that fall short of standards.
“The Ondo State’s mantra is that pregnancy will no longer be a death sentence and we won’t stop there.
“Looking beyond pregnancy, we realised that poverty also leads to the death of those who make it out of the hospital and that too should be addressed.”