By Ewomazino Egbo
An expert in reproductive health has identified the adoption of modern family planning method as the panacea to ending maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.
Delta State Reproductive Health (RH) Coordinator, Dr Theophilus Agindotan, made the revelation while marking this year’s Safe Motherhood Day.
The RH coordinator said 22nd of May every year was set aside by the Federal Government of Nigeria to celebrate National Safe Motherhood Day to promote maternal and newborn health.
“Motherhood should be a time of expectation and joy for a woman, her family and her community but for women living in developing countries like Nigeria the reality of motherhood is often grim because it is marred by unforeseen complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
“Worldwide, it is estimated that 303,000 women die yearly from complications of pregnancy and childbirth; majority of these deaths (about 99%) occurs in developing countries where a woman’s life time risk of dying from pregnancy related complications is 45 times higher than their counterparts in developed countries,” he stated.
Dr Agindotan posited that to effectively reduce maternal morbidity and mortality to half, the adoption of a number of strategies was necessary, such as the access to modern family planning method, providing antennal care, ensuring skilled birth delivery, and improved essential obstetric care.
Other, according to Dr Agidotan, included providing post abortion care, addressing reproductive health needs of adolescents of which family planning tops the strategies.
Agindotan said that the major causes of maternal deaths (60 – 80%) in our environment include obstetric haemorrhage, obstructed labour, obstetric sepsis, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and complications of unsafe abortion, which he said, could be prevented with the use of modern family planning method.
Speaking on this year’s theme of Safe Motherhood Day, “Improving Demand, Access and Utilization of Maternal Services in the context of COVID – 19 Pandemic” Dr Agindotan said that it was apt as it focuses on the need for more awareness creation, accessibility and utilization of maternal health services.
“As a state the government has done a lot in the family planning component and every woman of reproductive age has access to quality family planning services.
“Efforts are being made to ensure we have the same level of success in all the other components as well.
“We want the women in Delta State to be aware that quality Maternal and Child Health Services are available in all our Hospitals and Primary Health Centers,” he said.