600, 000 women globally are estimated to die from child bearing, pregnancy and unsafe abortions annually with 99% (594, 000) occurring in developing countries. Regionally, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia account for 87% of this total.
Global statistics indicates that maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is improved where pre-, partum and post-partum care is undertaken by trained personnel.
Egypt has shown an appreciable drop; whereas, Nigeria is amongst 16 African countries and 28 nation states globally where less than 50% of births are attended by a skilled birth attendant (SBA).
The above flies in the face of Goal 3 of the sustainable development goals. Good health and wellbeing is only possible where life chances are paramount from conception. The millennium development goals that preceded SDG had benchmarks of 80% by 2005; 85% by 2010; 90% by 2015 of SBA child delivery. Nigeria’s SBA child delivery is less than half of the 2005 benchmark at 39%.
With countries such as Yemen, Haiti, Niger, Burundi, Somalia, Pakistan and Nepal –who are burdened with natural disasters and civil strives- Nigeria should not be in amongst the 28 countries with less than 50%.
Yet, a tale of the facts squarely pitches Nigeria amongst the countries that continually fail its women and girls:
800 of 100, 000 Maternal Mortality Ratio;
35, 000 estimated to die annually from pregnancy related causes;
2 million of the reproductive female population of 27million will not survive pregnancy or childbirth;
8% of the poorest 20% families use a healthcare centre for delivery;
5. Northern Nigeria suffers more MMR (range of 1060 – 4477 of 100,000) than the South (range of 454 – 772 of 100,000);
Meanwhile, Lagos state has the following:
71.7% of Lagos State infants between 0-11 months are inadequately fed;
14% of infants between 0 - 24 months have low birth weight; and, 62.7% of infants between 12 - 23 months are not fully immunised.
Macro-level barriers of low level of awareness; high cost of healthcare and inadequate provision of healthcare facilities with individual characteristics of maternal age; educational attainment; socio-economic status and antenatal care (ANC) contributes to positive maternal mortality ratio.
It is in this wise that Project ASHA with the support of HACEY Health Initiative, Nigeria and Birthing Kit Foundation, Australia is scheduling a one-day training for traditional birth attendants (TBA) for the community of Sogunro, Pedro Village, Iwaya, Lagos on 24th March, 2016.
Speakers: Dr. Vovwero Ohioma, General Practitioner (GP) and Project ASHA board member.
Dr. Emerald Chukwuemeka, Pediatrician, LUTH.
Venue: Sogunro Community Town Hall.
Time: 9am - 5pm.
Sogunro is a riverine underserved community located partly on the Lagos lagoon. It is home to over 3000 people. Like many underserved communities, it lacks basic infrastructural facilities one of which is a primary healthcare centre.
Pregnant women who are unable to travel long distance to the nearest primary healthcare facility in neighbouring communities only benefit from the services of TBAs, hence the need to equip them to provide better and safer services.