By JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA
With the 2015 target for the Millennium Development Goals-MDGs just around the corner, female doctors have reminded Nigeria of the need to strive to attain goals 4 and 5 which seek to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.
Emphasising that women comprised the bulk of Nigeria’s population, Dr.Dumebi Owa, immediate past president, Medical Women Association of Nigeria- MWAN Lagos State, stressed that issues affecting them should be put on the front burner due to the importance of their numerical strength to economic growth and sustenance.
Dumebi who was speaking at the 18th Biennial Conference/8th Dr.Irene Thomas Memorial Lecture whose climax was the transfer of the baton of MWAN Lagos chapter’s leadership to Dr.Iyabode Tijani, Medical Director, Orile-Agege General Hospital, said, “The wellbeing of any nation lies in the wellbeing of her women. Therefore, nations can only find the wealth they seek when the wellbeing of women is prioritised. Sadly, while Malaysia meets all the MDGs targets before 2015, Nigeria is painfully and seriously lagging behind in all the goals.”
Adding that only healthy mothers could build a healthy child, family and nation, Dr. Boma Otogho of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Ogun State, and Dr.Ekanem Ekure of the Paediatrics Department, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, in their lectures at the event tagged ‘Enhancing Global Health through Women’s Wellbeing’, stressed that the ignorance of most women was taking a toll on national health.
“Measles for instance is a vaccine-preventable disease but most mothers, due to ignorance, do not adhere to routine immunisation. The appropriate age for immunising a child against measles is when the child is nine-month old but many of them do not know this”, the duo said.
Among dignitaries at the event were Dr.Tunji Braithwaite and Dr.Arafat Ifemeje of the Nigerian Airforce Hospital, Ikeja.