A former Minister of Defence, Theophilus Danjuma, says high rate of maternal mortality in Nigeria is the reason why his foundation, TY Danjuma Foundation, decided to build a world class maternity hospital in Takum, Taraba State.
Mr. Danjuma, a retired lieutenant general, disclosed this on Monday in his home town Takum during the inauguration of the hospital named after his late mother, Mama Rufkatu Danjuma.
According to him, approximately 800 women die daily worldwide due to complications arising from child birth.
Mr. Danjuma noted that majority of such cases were occurring in developing countries, hence his intervention to help reduce the rate.
“Between 1990 and 2015 maternal mortality rate in the world dropped by 45 per cent, but Nigeria percentage of maternal mortality rate was on the rise.
“This is why I have decided to assist to reduce the rate by donating this world class hospital in collaboration with Development Africa, Taraba Government and other international charity organisations.
“I hope that this hospital will set a standard in the provision of health care delivery services in the country,” he said.
The Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, said 576 out 100,000 children die during birth in Nigeria due to poor maternity care which he noted was the worst in the world.
Mr. Ehanire commended Mr. Danjuma for the intervention to reduce the figure in Takum and its environs.
He said the hospital was the first of its kind providing such specialised services in the country, noting it will also serve the primary health care needs of the people of Taraba.
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to provide Primary Health Care facility in each ward in the country with collaboration of the private sector and this is a right move by Gen. TY Danjuma,” he said.
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba commended the generosity of Mr. Danjuma in changing the lives of the people across the country.
Mr. Ishaku pledged that the state government would provide the hospital with ambulances and residential quarters for doctors to enable them provide 24-hour services to the people.
Earlier, Joshua Kempeneer, the Country Director, Development Africa, the organisation that handled the construction of the hospital expressed worry over the high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria.
He commended TY Danjuma Foundation for its intervention in reducing the rate.
Mr. Kempeneer, who said his organisation had the mandate of Mr. Danjuma to manage the hospital for five years, assured that services to be offered by the hospital would be highly subsidised for poor families to access.
“The hospital will charge less compared to what is obtainable in other hospitals, but would attend strictly to women and children under the age of eight,” he said.