Nigeria to establish emergency centre to tackle maternal, infant mortality

Director-General of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib.
Director-General of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib.

The federal government has said it will establish a National Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (NEMCHIC) to address public health concern on maternal, newborn and child deaths across Nigeria.

The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this while presenting the agency’s strategic plan for the rapid reduction of maternal, newborn and infant motility in Abuja on Monday.

He said the strategic approach was in line with the national strategic and health plan 2018-2022.

Mr Shuaibu said the centre would work with the National Polio Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) and transit polio resources towards Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) interventions.

He said the centre would improve awareness and promote community involvement in interventions to reduce maternal and child mortality.

Mr Shuaib lamented the appalling health statistics in the country, especially in maternal and child mortality rate.

He said Nigeria has one of the worst records in maternal and child mortality in the world.

It is recorded that in Nigeria, approximately 145 women in the 15-45 age bracket die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth while 2,300 children under five years die mainly from preventable causes

He said there is the need to break the culture of silence over preventable deaths in the country.

He said the centre would also increase data visibility and quality aside improving detection and responsiveness in the resolution of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) service gap.

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Mr Shuaib said the agency would collaborate with traditional and religious leaders as well as development partners to energise efforts to reverse the negative indices on maternal, newborn and child mortality in Nigeria.

In his remark, the Emir of Argungu and Deputy Chairman, Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Polio and Primary Health Care, Samaila Mera, said the statistics were alarming and heartbreaking.

He said the northern traditional leaders would sensitise the people to patronise facilities provided by the government and convince husbands to allow their wives to go for antenatal services and deliver at the hospitals.

“We are involved in the surveillance of maternal and neonatal deaths; in this regard, we are working closely with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other partners.

“We are working with traditional birth attendants on the strategy to stop bleeding after birth which is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality,” he said.

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