By ESTHER ONYEGBULA
With 2,300 deaths of under-five and 145 women of childbearing age occurring every day in Nigeria, experts have called for the need to leverage on technology to reduce neonatal and maternal death rate in the country.
The experts also raised the alarm that Nigeria has the highest neonatal and maternal mortality rate in the world.
According to UNICEF report, although analyses of recent trends show that the country is making progress in cutting down infant and under-five mortality rates, the pace still remains too slow to achieve the Millennium Development Goals of reducing child mortality by a third by 2015.
At the flag off ceremony of a three- day training paediatrics programme organised by Outreach Medical Services in Lagos, a Consultant Anasthestist, Medway General Hospital Kent, UK, Dr. Seyi Oyesola, explained that “having realised the lapses in the human capacity, knowledge, skills, the technological level of development in Nigeria health sector, there is need to leverage on technology to reduce neonatal and maternal death rate.
Presently in Nigeria, less than 20 per cent of health facilities offer emergency obstetric care and only 35 per cent of deliveries are attended by skilled birth attendants.
“This shows the close relationship between the well being of the mother and the child, and justifies the need to integrate maternal, newborn and child health interventions.”
In a chat, Dr. Efunbo Dosekun, CEO of the Outreach, further emphasised the need to develop a system that is practical and continually improving; a system that is reflective and uses all stakeholders that can improve health outcome.
“A woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy and childbirth in Nigeria is 1 in 13. Although many of these deaths are preventable, the coverage and quality of health care services in Nigeria continue to fail. The three day training workshop was part of its five years strategy plan to increase capacity of health workers in medical, nursing and allied health fields.