As part of measures to complement the efforts of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in curbing maternal and infant mortality in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Rotary International Maternal and Child Health Quality Assurance Project has donated health equipment and drugs to the Human and Health Services Secretariat (HHSS) of the FCTA.
The donation, which took place at the FCTA’s Secretariat in Abuja over the weekend, was done by Rotary International Maternal and Child Health Quality Assurance Project’s Primary Contact, Dr. Kolawole Owoka, on behalf of Rotary International, and received by the Acting Secretary of the FCTA’s Health Secretariat, Musa Abdulraheem, on behalf of his organisation, for onward distribution to some of Rotary International’s Maternal and Child Health Quality Assurance Project hospitals in the FCT.
The items, which according to Dr. Kolawole are worth nearly N10million include a Suction Machine, a Delivery Couch, a Foetoscope, a Pulse Oximeter, an Oxygen Concentrator, an Instrument Steriliser, a Sterilising Drum, a unit of Baby Weighing Machine, a Sphygmanometer with trolley, and an Ambu Bag. Others are 70 pieces of Injection Oxytocin, 70 units of Injection Magnesium Sulphate, 30 bottles of Multivitamins, 10 bottles of Vitamin B Complex, as well as 30 bottles of Vitamin C.
Dr. Kolawole, while presenting the items, noted that through partnership between Rotary International and the FCTA, in the area of maternal and child health, there has been remarkable reduction in the number of maternal and infant deaths in the FCT in recent years, as many pregnant women have been encouraged to embrace the attitude of going to Rotary International’s project clinics to be delivered of their babies, as against the hitherto practice of having self or home delivery.
He said, ‘‘Rotary is interested in maternal and child health, and we are happy that ever since we came, FCT has been partnering with us to reduce the deaths of our mothers and children who we believe are vulnerable. And we have been encouraging the mothers to go to our antenatal clinics to deliver.’’
Dr. Kolawole also noted that his organisation has been engaging in obtaining relevant data on maternal and infant mortality within and outside the FCT, for the purpose of intimating the populace on the reality and seriousness of perinatal deaths and, more so, to demonstrate his organisation’s commitment to curbing such deaths. His words: ‘‘…we’ve also been helping to gather data of mortality so that people can be aware that it is a real thing, and we need to do something to really show we want to reduce maternal and infant deaths; and to the glory of God, we discover that ever since our intervention, it has been going down.’’
While thanking the FCTA Human and Health Services Secretariat for embracing Rotary International’s Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance (MPDRS) programme, Dr. Kolawole said that based on the outcome of the MPDRS, eclampsia remains one of the leading causes of maternal mortality. He noted, however, that Rotary International, having realized that Magnesium Sulphate is a very potent drug in tackling eclampsia among pregnant women, has thus been consistent in donating this drug to its hospitals, besides some other drugs and hospital equipment that it does donate.
He said: ‘‘Whenever we go round any of these hospitals, it is our challenge to find out what exactly are those causes of maternal and infant deaths, and one of the things we identified was eclampsia. A woman is pregnant, normal pregnancy, and develops hypertension, and before you know, she starts having convulsion. We discovered that Magnesium Sulphate acts like magic whenever they are given to the women…and then they (the women) have their normal delivery. So, we make sure that those hospitals, from time to time, are given Magnesium Sulphate. So, you see, part of what we brought today is also Magnesium Sulphate. We also brought several other things that will enhance a mother’s safe delivery.’’