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WHO Nigeria constitutes 14% of the total Maternal deaths

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that Nigeria constitutes 14% of the total world maternal deaths ranking second after India for the year 2014-15.

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Nigeria’s MMR is 560 deaths per 1 lakh live births play

Nigeria’s MMR is 560 deaths per 1 lakh live births

The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that Nigeria constitutes 14% of the total world maternal deaths ranking second after India for the year 2014-15.

In a statement released recently WHO disclosed this information.  The maternal mortality rate in Nigeria is 560 deaths per 100,000 live births and one-third of all global maternal deaths are concentrated in two populous countries which includes Nigeria, after India. India, with 50000 deaths ranks first whereas Nigeria takes second place with 40000 estimated deaths.

This was revealed by the executive director of Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr Abiola Akiyode Afolabi at the “National Roundtable: Sustainable Development Goals Gender Equality and Maternal Health” in Abuja.

She said women in Nigeria still face financial barriers, infrastructural and institutional barriers in accessing adequate maternal healthcare and are still been detained for inability to pay high user fees and lose their lives in the process.

The 2014 millennium Development Goals report almost one-third of all global maternal deaths are concentrated in two populous countries: India, with an estimated 50,000 maternal deaths (17%) and Nigeria, with an estimated 40,000 maternal deaths (14%) while the WHO 2014 report on maternal mortality states that Nigeria’s MMR is 560 deaths per 100,000 live births.

She lamented that Nigeria ranks 118 of 134 countries in the gender equality index, as fewer girls are enrolled in school in schools compared with boys.

Okogbenin, a famous Gynaecologist observes that gender stereotypes and most community based practices were the reasons for this consequence.

He said: “Most programmes designed to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria exclude the male folks and assume that the women have the greatest stake and interest in protecting their own reproductive health.

He blamed the high mortality rate in the country to poor access to health facilities, poverty, illiteracy and unwillingness of pregnant women to access healthcare services.

Okegbenin said: “The problem is high in Nigeria because, like many developing countries, there is still illiteracy and poverty where people are not informed about health issues and cannot afford healthcare.

He regretted that efforts and interventions to halt the trend of maternal mortality focused exclusively on female antenatal population.

However, biomedical interventions without similar emphasis on socio-cultural factors and gender dynamics involved in maternal health will not achieve much” he said.

Apart from encouraging women to visit the hospital and providing greater access to healthcare, there is the need to build the capacity of health workers to control the problem.

For the year 2013-14, 36000 women died giving birth to their children which is 13% of the global maternal deaths. Now, it has increased to 14%.

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