The Federal Government has declared a State of Emergency on Maternal and Child Mortality in Nigeria.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib described the high rate of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria as alarming and risky for national growth and development.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib stated this at the presentation of the Agency’s Strategic Approach to Rapidly Reduce Mortality at the Primary Health Care and Community Levels. He disclosed that 145 women die daily from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and 2,300 children under 5 years die daily from preventable causes.
He further disclosed that 1 out of every 10 Children less than 5 years , that dies in the world is a Nigerian.
While noting that 1 out of every 8 Nigerian children dies before having a chance to celebrate his or her 5th Birthday.
Following the above statistics and the 2018 United Nations Human Development Report for Nigeria on urgent improvements in promoting the rights of women to reproductive health, Dr. Faisal declared a state of emergency on maternal and child mortality.
He also announced the establishment of a National Coordination Center in all the 36 states of the Federation Including the FCT.
“Having noted the high rate of maternal, newborn and under-5 child mortality, and the insufficiency of our current efforts to reverse the trend. I hereby declare a state of public health concern on maternal, newborn and child deaths occurring at the Primary Health Care and Community levels, and a decision to establish a National Coordination Centre”. He said
Similarly, Dr. Faisal disclosed that the centre which shall be called the National Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (NEMCHIC) will work with the National Polio Emergency Operations Centre and transit polio resources towards the utilization of Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child, Adolescent Health plus Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) interventions.
He also said that in the states where Polio Emergency Operation Centres (EOCs) do not exist, NPHCDA will work with State Primary Health Care Boards to immediately establish State Emergency Maternity and Child Health Intervention Centres (SEMCHIC).
Reiterating NPHCDA’s commitment to reducing maternal and child mortality, Dr Faisal said “We commit to urgently take action to provide leadership to rapidly reverse maternal, newborn and child deaths by half by 2021. Through interventions that target the primary health care and community levels.
In collaboration with states, local governments, our traditional and religious leaders as well as development partners at all levels, we will coordinate and energize efforts that are focused on reducing maternal and child mortality at the PHC and community levels through the NEMCHIC and its state counterparts, he added.
“For every death of any woman related to childbirth, we will provide toll-free numbers for Nigerians to call; we will take steps to investigate such deaths and respond within the ambits of the law, in order to raise the sense of accountability for such preventable death”. Faisal added.