Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has again called on expectant mothers in the state, to patronize primary health centres and skilled birth attendants, to reduce the incidence of maternal and infant mortality.
She gave the charge today, at a town hall meeting on reduction of maternal and child mortality, in Epe local government, organized by the state’s Ministry of Health.
Mrs. Ambode observed that refusal by expectant mothers for various reasons to access obstetric services, was a major contributor to the maternal mortality rate in the state.
According to her, ‘Almost every minute, somewhere in a corner of the world, a woman dies as a result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. For every woman that dies, about twenty others survive but suffer from serious diseases, disability or physical damage, caused by these complications. Majority of these maternal deaths are avoidable if expectant mothers access quality reproductive health care, including skilled attendance at birth’.
‘Non-use of essential obstetric services is a crucial factor that contributes to high maternal mortality. Some women refuse to access care when highly necessary either because of cultural practices or because decision-making is the responsibility of other family members’, she said.
She stressed that while the role of Traditional Birth Attendants is acknowledged, it is important they know their limitations and ensure prompt referrals to the Primary Health Care Centres.
She appealed to all women of child-bearing age, pregnant women, as well as children under the age of five years, to avail themselves of the free services during the Child Health Week, commencing today throughout the week, by visiting the nearest Primary Health facility closets to them.
The governor’s wife who urged women to pay attention to their nutrition during pregnancy, enlisted the support of families, religious and community groups to win the battle against the menace.
Speaking earlier, the commissioner for health, Dr. JideIdris, noted that it was important for TBAs to be registered with the state government, adding that reports indicated expectant mothers still visited TBAs, who knew not what to do when complications arose.
The commissioner stated that the state government had done so much in the area of primary health-care, as the governor was very passionate about the health of the citizenry.
He enjoined everyone to come together at the end of the town hall meeting and resolve to do the right thing, beneficial to mothers during pregnancy and babies after child-birth, stressing that everyone had a role to play.
Delivering their goodwill messages, the member Federal House of Representative, representing Epe Federal Cconstituency, Hon. TasirRaji and Chairman House Committee on Health in the State House of Assembly, Hon. SegunOlulade, both noted that there was a strong link between the health and survival of a mother and that of her new-born.
Hon Raji said it was imperative for the state government to explore the possibility of registering the TBAs with a view to integrating them into the healthcare delivery system, as this according to him, would considerably help build capacity to ease burden in the health sector.
Hon. Olulade stressed that all efforts must be concerted to ensure no woman in Lagos State loses her life during pregnancy or childbirth.
In attendance were top government functionaries, traditional rulers, the health family, Traditional Birth Attendants, and other stakeholders.