IN spite of concerted efforts by health authorities and experts to reduce high maternal and infant mortality rate nationwide, figures unfortunately remain among the highest in the world.
The worrisome hint was dropped at the weekend in Anambra by health expert and consultant, Prof. Bryan Adinma of the College of Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi.
According to him, more than 60,000 mothers in Nigeria die every year from pregnancy-related complications.
Adinma, who was the former Anambra State Commissioner for Health, and consultant to some agencies of the United Nations and the World Bank, spoke at a workshop on Women Reproductive Health and Rights, organised by Ipas in collaboration with the Umu-Ada Igbo Nigeria Project, at the weekend in Nri, Anaocha council of Anambra State.
Ipas works with health-care systems and providers, among other concerns, to increase their skills and capacity to deliver safe abortion services.
Adinma emphasised that every expectant mother should register at a health institution, “not prayer houses or with quacks under whatever name”, for proper and close attention from conception till delivery.
He also enlightened participants on the dynamics of male/female reproductive idiosyncrasies, selection of baby’s sex, menstruation, ovulation and menopause.
Mrs. Nkem Anyogu, a lawyer also spoke on the reproductive rights of women in marriage and the choice of child rearing, when, how and why. These include rights to decide how many children to have, when, safe motherhood, sexual and gender violence.
The National President of Umu-Ada Igbo Nigeria, Dr. Kate Ezeofor, in her address, noted that the programme is part of grassroots mobilisation and sensitisation activities of the Umu-Ada Igbo Project nationwide.
She bemoaned the current statistics that shows a maternal mortality rate of 1000 to every 100,000 live births in the southeast geo-political zone. Whereas 34,000 women die yearly in the country from illegal abortion, obstructed labour and hemorrhage.
His Royal Majesty Eze Obidiegwu Onyesoh, Nri-Enwelani, the traditional ruler of Nri, represented by Palace Secretary, Chief Chijioke Ifeka, called for more mobilisation, lamenting that maternal mortality remains a nagging national issue.