Safe Motherhood Week: Oyo Says Death of Mothers, Children Unacceptable

May 9, 2024

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The Executive Secretary of the Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Muideen Olatunji, has urged mothers to access services that can promote life and help mitigate causes of death and ill health among women of child-bearing age.

Dr Olatunji, speaking at the commemoration of Safe Motherhood Week campaign in Ibadan, said the unacceptable high maternal mortality rate in Oyo State was a consequence of ignorance and women of childbearing age not accessing services that promoted life and mitigated its causes.

According to him, “Oyo State, in an effort to improve access to care, ensured that each of the political wards of the state has at least one functional primary care facility. So that women, and by extension, any person, can access care in such facilities.

“By that, we are removing barriers to access to care, and when they get to the facility, you can be rest assured that proper care will be given to such mothers or women of childbearing age.

“It is not mandatory that they go every month to the facility to assess antenatal care, but you can have at least a minimum of four contacts with healthcare providers throughout the period of pregnancy.

“By that period of time, you can actually segregate somebody who will need more than four contacts. At minimum, every person should have those four contacts before delivery, and these are the things we are doing to ensure that we reverse the trend of high maternal mortality in our society.

“Part of the enlightenment that we give now actually starts before they start getting pregnant. We have a range of women of childbearing age, which is about between 15 and 39, and we tend to tell them that from that age of 15, they should start accessing vaccinations like tetanus vaccinations that will ensure that they are protected throughout their childbearing age.”

“Again, we encourage them to get the hepatitis B vaccination so that they can be well protected when in contact with blood or other body fluids and also protect their children from hepatitis B.”

Earlier, Reproductive Health Coordinator for Oyo Primary Health Care Board, Mrs. Funmilayo Abodunrin, speaking during a sensitization outreach at the popular Oje Market, said Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate was high, putting it at 23%.

She declared, “We are doing this because we want a reduction in maternal mortality. We want the mother to live and the child to cry. We have been to churches and mosques to capture women and also the men, so that they will be able to direct their wives to where they should deliver, and the women will be educated on why they need to deliver in a safe place.

“We have distributed flyers that will inform and educate the pregnant women about what they should do in order to be in good health, where to deliver, and why they should deliver in the hospital. So we have gone round to sensitise people and to explain to them the things they should do.”