Ihekweazu lamented that Nigeria was nowhere near achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births. According to Nigeria’s Demographic and Health Survey, the current maternal mortality ratio is 512, while a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report showed that there were over 1,000 women dying from 100,000 live births. This is far from the SDG target for 2030, which aims to reduce the number of maternal deaths to no more than 70 women dying from 100,000 live births.
It is essential for Nigeria to recognize the importance of women’s lives, and more importantly, to involve women in decision-making processes. Leadership plays a crucial role in reducing maternal mortality, and as such, it is imperative to have more women in leadership positions. Women leaders are more likely to understand the challenges that women face during childbirth and can develop policies and programs that cater to their specific needs.
Maternal mortality is a severe problem in Nigeria, and it is essential to understand the underlying causes. The lack of access to quality healthcare facilities, inadequate medical supplies and equipment, and the shortage of healthcare professionals are some of the significant challenges. Additionally, social and cultural factors, such as gender inequality, poverty, and illiteracy, also contribute to the high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.
It is crucial to address these issues to curb the rising maternal mortality rate. One of the ways to address these challenges is to increase funding for the health sector, particularly for maternal and child health programs. The government should prioritize maternal health and ensure that there are enough resources to cater to the needs of pregnant women and new mothers.
Another way to address the issue is to increase access to quality healthcare facilities. Women in rural areas often face significant challenges in accessing healthcare services, and it is essential to ensure that healthcare facilities are easily accessible to all women, irrespective of their location.
Moreover, educating women about their reproductive health and the importance of seeking medical care during pregnancy and childbirth is critical. Women should be encouraged to attend antenatal care visits and to give birth in a healthcare facility. Educating men about the importance of maternal health and involving them in decision-making processes can also help reduce maternal mortality.
In conclusion, Nigeria needs to take immediate action to reduce maternal mortality. The government needs to increase funding for maternal and child health programs, improve access to quality healthcare facilities, and prioritize the education of women and men about the importance of maternal health. Leadership plays a crucial role in reducing maternal mortality, and it is imperative to involve more women in decision-making processes. Every woman in Nigeria deserves to have a safe and healthy childbirth, and it is the responsibility of the government, healthcare professionals, and society as a whole to make this a reality.
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