Senate tasks federal govt on high mortality rate

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Senate yesterday called on the federal government to provide adequate primary healthcare delivery services

The senate said the condition has become highly alarming because for every single day now, Nigeria loses about 2, 300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child bearing age.

To begin with, senate mandated its Committees on Women Affairs, and Health to meet the Federal Ministries of Women Affairs, and Health to identify ways to curb maternal, new born and infant mortality in the country and report back to it.

Senate resolution followed a motion titled, “Alarming maternal and infant mortality rate in Nigeria”, moved by Senator Ahmed Ogembe (APC Kogi Central), who lamented that “Nigeria is the second largest contributor to the under-five and maternal mortality rate in the world”.

Senator Ogembe, who added that “research have shown that the essential interventions reaching women and babies on time is capable of averting most of these deaths”, noted that preventable or treatable infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and HIV/AIDS account for more than 70 per cent of the death.

The lawmaker maintained that “malnutrition is the underlying cause of morbidity and mortality of a large proportion of pregnant women, newborn and children under five in Nigeria”.

He added that the deaths of newborn babies in Nigeria represent a quarter of the total number of deaths of children under-five and majority of these deaths occur within the first week of life.

Senator Ogembe was also worried that “a woman’s chance of dying from complications during pregnancy and delivery in Nigeria is one to 10 births”, noting however that “many of these deaths are preventable, the coverage and quality of healthcare services in Nigeria have continued to fail women and children”.

He recalled that less than 20 per cent of health facilities in the country offer emergency obstetric care and that only 30 per cent deliveries were attended by skilled birth attendants.

The lawmaker, however, observed that the integrated maternal, newborn and child health, IMNCH strategy was established by the Federal Ministry of Health to revitalize primary healthcare in every local government and considerably extend coverage of key maternal and child health interventions.

In his contribution, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North) called for the reestablishment of sanitary inspectors to reduce diseases in the country.

Similarly, he advocated the implementation of the basic health fund starting from this year to provide adequate primary healthcare delivery services in every local government area, noting that inadequate funding remains one of the issues affecting the health sector.

Also, Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC Lagos East) called for state of emergency in the nation’s health sector, noting that “Nigeria has failed to follow the laid down indices to provide quality and adequate health care services to Nigerians”.

He listed the indices to include provision of public health education, nutrition, potable water, and spread of primary health care centres in every part of the country.

According to him, “the lives of Nigerians being lost to terrorism cannot be compared to those lost to poor healthcare delivery services in this country”.

Senator Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North), fought back tears while attempting to contribute to the motion, saying she was shocked to read that Nigeria loses about 2, 300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child bearing age on daily basis.

 

Source: Nigeria Health Care News

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