The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has inaugurated a task force on accelerated reduction of maternal mortality in Nigeria.
Adewole, inaugurating the task force in Abuja, said that it has three months to ensure a road map on reduction of maternal mortality in the country.
The minister said that the high Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in the country is unacceptable, therefore, it has become imperative to address the challenge as soon as possible.
He said that safe motherhood is a basic right for every pregnant woman.
“It is noteworthy that a woman is a primary caregiver, nation builder and contributes significantly to the economic and social development of our great country. Safe motherhood, therefore, is critical to national development and no woman should die while giving life,’’ Adewole said.
He stated that Nigeria has the highest MMR far above the global rate, adding that the country has not progressed well enough in health over the last 30 years.”North-East is the worst in MMR followed by North-West and we are starting with six state; with time the programme will be extended to other states,’’ Adewole said.
The minister described maternal mortality as the death of a woman in pregnancy ”or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of duration and site of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy”, he said.
He listed the top causes of MMR to include haemorrhage, infection, eclampsia,among others.
Also, Mrs. Binta Adamu-Bello, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, said that the ministry, in collaboration with partners, has been working assiduously to promote the health of Nigerian mothers through various strategies and interventions.
She said that the nation is intensifying efforts toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets by starting with states that have the worst records of maternal deaths.