Lagos moves to reduce maternal, infant mortality

Lagos government urges medical practitioners to partner traditional birth attendants.


The Lagos State Government on Wednesday urged medical practitioners to partner with Traditional Birth Attendants, TBAs, to reduce the rate of maternal and infant mortality.

Bunmi Omoseyindemi, the Chairman, Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board, made the plea at one day workshop on “The Reduction in Maternal and Infant Mortality Rate”.

The workshop, held at Epe, was to sensitise TBAs on the state government’s efforts to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate.

Mr. Omoseyindemi said that the state government had set up a Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction (MCMR) Committee to look into the affairs of the medical practitioners, especially birth attendants.

“This is targeted at eradicating maternal and infant deaths in the state.

“The committee is expected to introduce new methods of determining competent orthodox and traditional birth attendants,” he said.

Mr. Omoseyindemi said that most of the infant and maternal deaths recorded in Epe area could be attributed to the activities of quacks and not TBAs.

The chairman called for periodic training of the traditional birth attendants toward enhancing their skills.

“Such periodic training should cover the use of modern tools like sphygmomanometer, which is used for blood pressure monitoring by TBAs,” he said.

In his remarks, Afolabi Olufemi, the Medical Director, General Hospital, Epe, advised the TBAs to imbibe the habit of early referral of pregnant women with complications to the government hospitals.

Mr. Olufemi said that this was to prevent unnecessary loss of lives which usually occurred whenever there was delay by TBAs.

The State Health Coordinator, Omowunmi George, said that part of the mandate of the committee was to determine various causes of sudden deaths of pregnant women.

She urged TBAs to endeavour to be law abiding and wary of danger signs like constant headache, severe fever, bleeding before labour, stomach ache and convulsion.

Ms. George said that patients with such complications should be referred immediately to the closest government hospitals.

“The state government is poised to wield the big stick on erring practitioners as those caught will be made to face the full weight of the law.

“The era of quackery and unskilled practices without adequate checks and monitoring is over.

“The state government is serious in its determination to sanitise the system through effective curbing of indiscipline and lawlessness,” she said.



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