Thursday, 3 July 2008

Nigeria Needs N55b to Reduce Maternal Mortality-Expert

With about N55 billion, Nigeria would be able to reduce the number of women dying from pregnancy related causes to as low as 200 per 100, 000 live births, Nigeria Director of Ipas, a body dedicated to reproductive health, Dr. Ejike Oji, has said.

The figure according to Oji could be spread across a period of five years on various strategies but with particular emphasis on remuneration and mobilization of skilled reproductive health personnel deployed to the rural areas.

The Ipas director, in an analogy based on the model used by the Kano state government for its free maternal services, showed that if each state concedes to dedicating not less than N9 million per month to maternal health services, then all states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would have spent N3.3 billion on such services within 12 months.

The Kano state model targets 200 midwives and nurses who will be paid a N50,000 monthly remuneration in addition to a N25, 000 monthly rural allowance.
“If this is to be replicated in all 36 states and FCT, we will have an average annual spending of N6.3 billion and in addition to other costs, this will amount to about N11 billion including cost of monitoring and evaluation,” Oji said in an interview at Abuja.
“Over 5 years, about N55 billion would have been spent on maternal health but the good would be that the mortality ratio would have reduce to 200 per 100, 000 live births.”

Citing the result of a 2004 survey of urban health facilities in Lagos and Kano state by the Society for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Nigeria (SOGON), Oji estimates that the average number of women that die annually from pregnancy and childbirth related causes in Nigeria could not be less than 3700. This is the average for the figures obtained at the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital and the Murtala Mohammed Hospital in Kano.

A break down of the figure as disclosed by Oji shows that 3900 maternal deaths are recorded at the Murtala Mohammed Hospital in Kano per 100,000 live births. The figure for Lagos Island Maternity Hospital shows that an estimated 3,455 women die from complications arising from childbirths and pregnancies per 100, 000 live births.

Figures released by Dr. Mairo Mandara Senior Country Advisor, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, at the at the third Religious Leaders Consultative Forum organized by the Federal Ministry of Health holding in Abuja shows that Nigeria accounts for 8993 (1.7 percent) of the estimated 529,000 maternal deaths recorded globally every year.

She also pointed out that “for every women who loses her life, approximately 20 more will suffer short and long term disabilities such as chronic anaemia, maternal exhaustion, Vesico-Vaginal or recto-vaginal fistulae, Pelvic Inflamatory Diseases, emotional depressions among others.”

She puts the national average for maternal deaths in Nigeria at 1000 per 100,000 live births.

* By Onche Odeh

No comments: