Delta State Government has achieved 48.5 per cent reduction of maternal mortality ratio, ahead of the 2015 target of 75 per cent reduction through the free maternal health care policy of the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joseph Otumara, disclosed this during a media briefing in Asaba, to commemorate the fifth anniversary of a successful free maternal healthcare programme in the state.
Dr. Otumara noted that when the programme was launched in Ughelli in November, 2007, maternal mortality rate was 456/100,000 but has reduced tremendously to 221/100,000.
He said that further reduction of the MMR to attain the figure for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 would require sustenance of government’s political will, enduring commitment of health personnel, continued patronage by pregnant women, diligent coordination by the health ministry and media support.
He said the programme, which has successfully been implemented in 57 state hospitals, is a comprehensive package covering antenatal care, delivery, including caesarean section, post-natal care for six weeks, treatment for ectopic pregnancy and complicated abortion, all free of charge. The commissioner said the programme, which is five years old, has recorded a remarkable degree of success as reflected by the steady decline of maternal mortality rate.