Thursday, 15 November 2007

SOGON conference begins: Experts call for adherence to WHO recommendations

Prof. Emmanuel Dipo Otolorin, Chief of Party, ACCESS Nigeria

THURSDAY Nov 15, 2007

BENIN NIGERIA------Prof. Otolorin, Chief of Party, ACCESS Program Nigeria has made a call to Nigerian medical professionals in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to update themselves with current recommendations for the prevention of Post-partum Haemorrhage. Since PPH is the leading cause of maternal mortality globally and especially in Nigeria.

He made this call while presenting his paper titled Prevention of Post-Partum Haemorrhage the role of Uterotonics at the pre-conference workshop preceding the opening of the 41st Conference of the Society Of Gynaecology and Obstetrics Of Nigeria (SOGON) taking place in the ancient city of Benin from the 14th to 17th November 2007.

According to him, the various uterotonic agents used to prevent PPH include Oxytocin, Ergometrine and Prostaglandin analogues. However there is evidence to show the choice of Oxytocin as the first line of drug for the prevention of PPH over other uterotonics. He maintained that the large number of death experienced by Nigerian women would be reduced if proper attention is paid by medical personnel to the services rendered during a last stage of delivery. This, he said is known as Active management of third stage of labour (AMTSL)

Prof. Otolorin added the advantages of Oxytocin as being effective within 2 to 3 minutes after administration, minimal side effects, can be used on all women and that it is inexpensive. He cited its disadvantage as requiring cold chain handling and storage to maintain its potency. This he said can be remedied with the provision of solar cooling facility.

According to him, with Nigeria being in the tropics, we should be able to utilise the abundant sunlight we have with cost effective innovations. He recommended that Nigerian States should use the UNICEF prototype of solar coolant for vaccines for the storage of Oxytocin. He explained that one solar cooling facility can be procured and maintained by a number of health facilities in a State, such that there is always an availability of Oxytocin in health centres for use by women during delivery.

To ensure that the AMTSL is enhanced such that women do not die of PPH in Nigeria, there is need for an intersectoral approach to the services offered at that period. There should be an efficient collaboration among the different medical personnel, from the midwives, the laboratory scientist, doctors and even the people outside of the health facility. The government’s role would be in the provision of utilities such as electricity, water, and drugs supply at all times to health facilities.

Benin cultural troop at the opening ceremony of the SOGUN Conference.

*Reported by Nnenna Ike

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