Wednesday, 11 July 2012 08:13

NIGERIA: Ondo Targets 75 Percent Reduction in Maternal, Child Mortality By 2015


Following the adoption of key intervention strategies such as the revolutionary Abiye Safe Motherhood Project and the Mother & Child Hospital initiatives aimed at improving maternal and child health at the grassroots, the Ondo State government is set to achieve a 75 percent reduction in maternal and child mortality and morbidity

so as to meet the targets of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Disclosing this to Good Health Weekly in Akure, weekend, following a tour of major health facilities in the state, Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju said the state had successfully achieved a 30 percent reduction in maternal mortality in the last two years as well as 26 per cent reduction in child mortality within one year.

Adeyanju, who was optimistic, said various grassroots programmes initiated by the current administration have brought the state's maternal mortality ratio to 100 per 100,000 live births.

Although the Governor Olusegun Mimiko-led administration met a poorly motivated and ill managed health sector with the worst health indices in the country, a total health budget of over N8 billion that was immediately approved, ensured that pregnancy- related deaths were drastically reduced.

Doctors attending to mothers and their babies in one of the wards of the Ondo State's Mother and Child Hospital in Akure, the state capital weekend.

In confirmation of the long-term commitment of Dr. Mimiko to providing qualitative and affordable healthcare services in the state, the Health Commissioner remarked: "We are scaling up now because within one year of Abiye Safe Motherhood and Mother and Child, we succeeded in reducing maternal mortality by 15 per cent.

To date, we have achieved 30 percent reduction, and then by 2015 we would have reduced by 75 per cent. We have delivered 1,217 babies in one year with one mortality. This is 1 in 100,000 live births. If we extrapolate, that will give 100 per 100,000 live births and for Nigeria as we speak, the average maternal mortality ratio is 545 by 100,000 live births. So we have crashed from 545 to 100 in one year."

Assuring that MDGs 4 & 5 will be achieved in the state, Adeyanju opined that Ondo will be the saving grace for Nigeria which as a country is not expected to achieve the MDG goals before 2095."

Further, he said after a baseline study revealed that of all the women that attend the basic health centres, only 16 went back to deliver at the facilities, the state government through Abiye safe motherhood project and the mother and child hospital projects decided to track the women by distributing mobile phones to every registered pregnant women in the state as a way of attracting them back to the facilities.

"Under the Abiye, we give mobile phones to the women free of charge because that is the only way they can be connected to their health rangers, policy makers and get connected to the commissioner even the Governor when any doctor is misbehaving and the rangers since they have established rapour with them, they can always track them when they are having contraction to come back to the health facilities and that is the essence of the phone.

"In the course of the year, there was a patient that died who didn't register with us but came in during labour. But we will consider that as part of statistics because mandatorily in Ondo State, there is what we call confidential inquiry into maternal deaths, which means, you must report all cases of maternal deaths, to help us in tracking, better planning and policy formulation. So if we know in zone A there are a lot of deaths, we can then track it and see what is responsible for the deaths, "he added.

Other strategies he highlighted include procurement of a tricycle ambulance in each basic health centre for navigation of hard- to- reach areas as well as provision of comprehensive health centres for the entire senatorial districts of the state.

Source: Vanguard

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