By SOLA OGUNDIPE
Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, has urged the Nigeria Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, and all stakeholders committed to the advancement of the health and welfare of Nigerian women and girls, to ensure a bi-directional accountability mechanism on issues of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, RMNCH, in the country.
Pate, who made the call to Nigerian delegates at the 2013 Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, tasked delegates to generate data and information on RMNCH through transparent and replicable methods to facilitate evidence-based responses from the government on those issues.
During the 2-day dialogue, the Minister, who made a commitment to make maternal death a notifiable occurrence in the country, said even though much progress had been made towards improving maternal and child health, a lot remained to be done to ensure every woman in Nigeria survived pregnancy and childbirth.
He admonished the delegates to engage non-health sector stakeholders such as the Ministry of Water Resources on maternal, newborn, and child health issues.
They are also to engage with the coordinating mechanism of the steering group of the “Saving One Million Lives” Initiative to promote accountability in RMNCH.
In turn, the CSO delegates called on the Minister to make maternal deaths notifiable occurrences in the country.
Through a vibrant and stimulating interactive discussion, the CSO delegates committed to generate and disseminate adequate data on maternal deaths in the country.
Consensus was reached to maintain the momentum generated at the Conference. Earlier, delegates had recognised laudable commitments have been made by the Federal Government on RMNCH but recognised need for adequate monitoring to track progress and resource flows.