Increased healthcare funding will reduce maternal mortality- Experts

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Some medical experts have called on both Federal and State Governments to increase funding of healthcare services toward reducing maternal mortality and brain drain in the country.

They made the calls on Saturday in their separate remarks at a bi-annual programme: “Health Gathering” organised by Ibadan Central Hospital (ICH), Old Ife Road branch, Ibadan.

Newsmen report that the bi-annual event held at both branches of ICH, a private hospital owned by Dr Abib Olamitoye, coincided with the 25th anniversary of the hospital. In her remarks, Mrs Olajumoke Caxton-Martins, ICH Group General Manager, said government needed to pump more money to healthcare services toward reducing maternal mortality and brain drain.

“Governments need to pump more money into healthcare services in the country and then begin to fund our Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs).

“Of course, we recognised that right now, medical personnel are fleeing the country. We believe that governments can give incentives to prevent them from going,” Caxton-Martins said.

She said that governments needed to provide more fully equipped healthcare facilities and as well increase incentives of medical experts. Caxton-Martins said that such was the only way people, particularly pregnant women, could have access to better medical care.

“The rural people are still patronising traditional birth attendant and go into mission houses to have babies.

“What happens here is that there is no adequate medical care. They do not understand when labour is obstructed and they need to get the right type of medical care,” she said.

Caxton-Martins said that ICH’s effort was aimed at giving back to the society by educating pregnant women on what to do before, during and after pregnancy to reduce mortality rate.

“For every health gathering, we have a minimum of 500 pregnant women. So, we have 500 earlier in the week and another 500 now. So, we are talking of 1000 people.

“I believe this is reaching out to lots of pregnant women. We do this twice in a year, that means every year, we have about 2000 pregnant women,” she said.

Also, Mr Desmond Oludele, the ICH Chief Medical Director, Old Ife Road branch, urged the government to put more finances in growing healthcare facilities like PHCs.

“Our advice to government is to put more finances in growing healthcare facilities in Nigeria like Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) as this will also encourage doctors to stay behind.

“Most doctors are now exiting Nigeria for greener pastures. Government should increase salary of doctors,” Oludele said.

He said pregnant women deserved to be educated on how to take care of themselves before, during after pregnancy.

“We know that the society has contributed a lot to the growth of our organisation and this is just a platform to educate our pregnant women on what to do before, during and after pregnancy.

“And, how to take care of them so that we can reduce maternal mortality rate in Nigeria,” he said.

In her remarks, Mrs Abimbola Raimi, one of the pregnant women, described the programme as educative, supportive and very interesting.

“It is quite interesting and I am actually enjoying it. I came in late. I came in when the manager gave a speech.

“I learnt how to take care of the baby and exercise. It is entertaining, the body need exercise. Actually, it will make me to be smarter,” she said.

Pregnant women in attendance went home with various gifts ranging from baby bed, diapers and several other gifts.

The grand prize winner would benefit free healthcare and delivery, whether through vagina delivery or caesarean session.