What Can We Do To Put An End To Maternal Mortality?

Editorial Team

World Health Organization (WHO) defines Maternal Mortality as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.

As reported by This Day Live, Nigeria constitutes two per cent of the world’s population but contributes 10 per cent of the world’s maternal mortality due to defects in the healthcare system.

In 2016, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Department for International Development DFID, said that Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate has risen to 10 percent where about 111 women die on daily basis.

Just few months ago, Chisom Anekwe (nee Okereke), a young mother of 2 had died while trying to bring her 3rd child into the world. Family members and friends reported that Chisom died under questionable circumstances at one Magodo Specialist Hospital in Lagos.

Not too long ago a popular Nollywood actress, Moji Olaiya died two months after giving birth to her second child although she did not die in Nigeria it is still counted as a loss to Nigeria.   In March 2017, another young woman Chiamaka Glory, 24, died after a botched Caesarean Section at Medical Art Center (MART) in Lagos.

The sad part about Maternal Mortality is the fact that it is preventable in so many ways, In this day and age several people would rather go to a traditional birth attendant rather than go an hospital for so many different reasons.

While some go to TBAs to save cost some believe that they would be catered for better when they go to a TBA compared to when they go to an hospital even with all the facilities that they lack.

Although the reason for maternal mortality is a global problem it has been noticed that the causes for maternal mortality is not uniform everywhere. Some of the causes of maternal mortality in Nigeria include:

  • Severe bleeding (mainly postpartum hemorrhage)
  • Infection (usually after childbirth)
  • Unsafe abortion
  • Postpartum complications
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy and in some cases the causes are diseases such as malaria,  HIV/ AIDS during pregnancy, e.t.c.

Prof. Mahmoud Fathalla, past president of the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said:

“Women are not dying of diseases we can’t treat… They are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving.”

So Mamalettes, as mothers from your experiences what can we do to put an end to maternal mortality in Nigeria?