November 23, 2010

No woman should die giving birth, says Chukwu

By SolaOgundipe
NO Nigerian woman should die because she wants to give birth, says Minister ofHealth, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.

The Minister made the remark weekend during the formal flagging-off of the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week at Karu, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He appealed to all Nigerians especially  men to ensure their wives (mothers) and children enjoy the basic human right of access to good health. About 60,000 women die in childbirth in the country annually.

At the even with the theme: A package for a life time of better health for the family, the Minister described  pregnancy as something that brings joy to the family.

He encouraged mothers across the country to exclusively breast feed their children and  endeavour to utilise  health facilities in their domains to access healthcare services.

While noting Federal government’s special interest in the health of mothers and children, he urged the mothers to ensure their children are  immunised against the common child killer diseases.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Dr.  Wazir Dogo- Mohammed expressed optimism that Nigeria’s attainment of the Millennium Development Goals especially Goals 4 and 5 was possible stressing that Nigeria is on track to achieve the MDGs come 2015.

He said through numerous interventions and  efforts at the Federal level, maternal and child mortality are dropping noting and  Nigeria is ready to take its rightful place in the comity of nations.

Earlier, the Country’s Representative of WHO, Dr. Peter Eriki observed  that for Nigeria to move forward, topmost priority should be given to the health of the children because they are the future of the country.

He encouraged every pregnant woman to make it a point of duty to at least go for antenatal four times and should access health facilities during and after child birth.

According to him, the nations, maternal and child health indices would improve faster if  mothers  slept under mosquito treated nets, received vitamin A  supplements, took their children to be screened for malnutrition and above all, adopted healthy life style. Eriki also called on the Federal Government to increase funding of the health sector to improve healthcare delivery services to Nigerians.