Posted by Timige, On 30 Oct, 2023 | Updated On 30 Oct, 2023 No Comments »
The Founder/Chairperson, Maternal and Reproductive Health Research Collective, Prof. Bosede Afolabi, has said it is appalling that Nigeria has the highest maternal mortality in the world.
Quoting from a 2020 United Nations International Children Education Fund report, Afolabi said over 82,000 women lose their lives yearly from childbirth complications and pregnancy.
The professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology spoke during a media event and run held on Saturday in Lagos.
The 5km run, which began at i-Fitness, Lekki, Admiralty Way, ended with a symposium at the Muri Okunola Park, Adeyemo Alakija, Victoria Island, Lagos.
According to Afolabi, the run was an awareness of maternal mortality and improved health for pregnant women, adding that more women may be at risk of dying if nothing drastic is done.
Speaking during the exercise, Afolabi said, “Today, we are having the culmination of our one-month-long campaign to raise awareness and funds towards preventing maternal deaths.
“Nigeria has the highest number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth in the world. In 2020, 82,000 Nigerian women died from childbirth complications, according to the World Bank official figures.
“We need to raise awareness, let people know and start working towards changing the figures.
“We are raising funds to get into the community to those women who cannot afford to care for themselves during pregnancy and childbirth,” she said.
The professor said she and her team wanted to make sure that women were linked to primary healthcare centres that already exist, noting that it was one way to reduce the number of deaths.
She also stated that the MRHR-Collective had worked with the Lagos State Government to train health care professionals in the PHCs to be able to care for these pregnant women when they present for registration properly.
The Chief Executive Officer, Sterling One Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe, on her part, said women do not have to die needless deaths because of pregnancy complications.
She said her foundation, in partnership with the MRHR-Collective, would help 1,500 indigent women to check childbirth deaths.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Punch Nigeria Limited, Mrs Angela Emuwa, who participated in the 5km run, said Nigeria’s maternal mortality was too high, adding that initiatives like MRHR-Collective’s would help bring down the numbers.
She said, “The rate of maternal mortality is so high. It is highest in Nigeria followed by India. We need to change that narrative. There has been a lot of research on Prof Afolabi’s side and I am very much in support of what she is doing.
“This is a good avenue to make sure we don’t lose any more women or kids as a result of birth complications or pregnancies.”
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