BY DOYIN OJOSIPE & Taofeek Lawal Abuja
Worried by the dwindling quality of healthcare services in the country, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) yesterday met behind closed doors to discuss on the way forward.
Speaking at the opening of the two days deliberation, the Director General of the NGF, Mr Asishana Okauru, said the meeting was paramount as the number of deaths of mothers and children continues to soar.
Okauru said in 2015, life expectancy in Nigeria was around 53 and 56 years for men and women respectively, adding that, while th country constitutes only about 2 per cent to the world population, it contributes up to 10 per cent to maternal mortality in the world.
“Diarrhea prevalence rate in Nigeria is abysmal. The indices for deaths and impaired quality of life caused by malaria, lower respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, HIV, especially amongst children and women, are even more appalling”, he added.
In his keynote address, the executive director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said it was disheartening that Nigeria loses about 3000 women and under-five children to preventable deaths daily.
Emphasizing that only functional primary health care centers could help in tackling the menace, Shuaib charged the state governors to be more committed towards revitalizing the health centers.
He said, “We are expected to deliver on result and we will be held accountable for our performances. The most important evidence of our performance will be seen in the reduction of number of deaths of children and pregnant women in our respective states and nationally during our tenure”.