As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s Safe Motherhood Day, the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said that the successful implementation of the pillars of safe motherhood was crucial to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals:3 (SDGs:3).
The minister stated this during a press briefing to mark 2021 Safe Motherhood Day, themed: “Improving demand access and utilisation of maternal services in the context of covid 19 pandemic” with the slogan “Quality, Equity and Dignity for women” in Abuja.
Represented by the minister of state for health, Dr Olurunnimbe Mamora, he said this year’s Safe Motherhood Day was focused on sensitising mothers and the general public on the need to patronise and utilise available maternal services amid the scourge of COVID 19.
According to him, there was therefore, the need for continuous community mobilisation and awareness creation among policy makers as well as propramme managers by all stakeholders.
Ehanire noted that recent evidence from National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2018, shows that Nigeria has made some progress towards improving the health of women and children.
“Our current statistics indicates that, maternal mortality ratio has reduced from 576 per 100,000 live birth in 2013 to 512 per 100,000 live birth in 2018. However, a lot needs to be done if we must achieve or come anywhere close to the SDG3 which is aimed at reducing maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100,000 live birth by 2030.
“For a safe motherhood, we must ensure that there is skilled attendance at all births, and every woman must have access to quality emergency obstetric care and quality reproductive health care, including family planning and safe post-abortion care,” he said.
He noted that the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Health has been working closely with partners to ensure the increased use of high quality Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) aimed at swift reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality in the country.
“In addressing human resources crisis especially skilled birth attendance, the federal government made provision for the establishment of Modified Midwives Service Scheme (MSS), Task shifting and Task Sharing Policy.
“Also, the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with NPHCDA has also commenced PHC and Community Maternal Perinatal and Surveillance Response (MPDSR) a veritable process of identifying both direct and indirect causal factors of death.
using information on each maternal and perinatal death to guide public health,” he explained.
The minister stated that this was already fully implemented at both secondary and tertiary facilities across the country.