Dr Ejike Orji, Chairman, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, has urged the Federal Government to invest in Midwifery Service Scheme (MSS) to help to reduce maternal mortality in the society.

Orji, who made the call in an in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said that having trained midwives in the rural areas would reduce deaths among women and girls.

He said that most maternal deaths occurred due to unsafe abortions which would be avoided if there are adequate trained midwives.

He also said that provision of family planning and post-abortion services for rural women by midwives would help to reduce the rate of deaths. “Investing in the scheme is important in the reduction of maternal mortality,’’ he said.

Orji said that there was need for government to increase the budget line and policies that would drive change in sexual and reproductive health.

He advised that women should be informed and be given the opportunity to make a healthy choice when it comes to reproductive health.

“Only a woman should have the autonomy on how to choose in terms of family planning.

“She should be counselled and allow to decide on what method she wants,’’ he said.

Orji added that having primary health care under one umbrella was another measure in ensuring the advancement of health of women and girls in the society were sustained.