Maternal mortality: Expert advocates for early ante-natal care
A medical expert, Dr Taiwo Adeniyi , has called on pregnant women to present themselves early at the hospital for pre-natal care to prevent problems during delivery. Adeniyi,Medical Director, Amuwo-Odofin Maternal and Child Care Centre (AOMCC), made the call on Wednesday at the “Sixth Annual Stakeholders Meeting” of the hospital in Lagos. The meeting was organised by AOMCC to justify the Lagos State Government’s investments in health infrastructure and workers.
Adeniyi said early presentation would ensure adequate care for the expectant mother and the unborn baby as well as reduce the risk of complications during delivery.
He said that the state government had done a lot in the area of maternal and child health and urged pregnant women and mothers to use the various health facilities in the state to access quality care.
“The state government has established maternal and child centres all over the state. We have 12 in the state at the moment. There’s need for education. It is not enough for those services to be there but it is also necessary that the patients make use of these facilities. Also there is need for private hospitals and some other referral centres to refer patients promptly and adequately ” he said.
The medical director said the government is currently offering free ante-natal services and free delivery services(both vaginal and Caesarian Section) in all its facilities, to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
He also urged pregnant women and mothers to take advantage of the government’s palliative intervention to improve their health and that of their babies.
Adeniyi said the maternity statistics at AOMCC was favourable because adequate personnel are on ground to manage patients, especially those worth complications.
According to him, AOMCC records about 250 ante-natal patients and handles no fewer than 250 vaginal and Caesarean Section (CS) deliveries monthly.
“In July, we had 200 deliveries, both vaginal and CS. Generally Lagos State is not doing badly compared to what obtains in other states”, he said .
Dr Alimat Usman, a paediatrician at the hospital, said sometimes pregnant women refuse to carry out some procedures that could help prevent complications to them and their babies.
She said some pregnant women and their relatives have misconceptions about CS and opt not to take the option if advised. Usman said reasons for CS may include two previous CS, fibroid surgery and baby lying in transverse position.
“If a woman comes a day after she is supposed to have a CS, she is late; if she comes two days later, she’s already too late. An average adult has about five per cent litres of blood flowing through his or her veins. A pregnant woman has much more with about 50 per cent in order to supply the baby with blood,” she said.
Usman said if any complications leading to bleeding occurred, the woman could lose about 700 milliliters of blood per minute, thus killing her and the baby.
She cautioned relatives, particularly husbands, mothers of patients and mothers in-law, against discouraging women from carrying out CS if booked.
Also, Mrs Joan Oluyemi, Service Improvement Officer, Service Charter Initiative, Lagos Ministry of Health (LSMOH), said late presentation was one major challenge causing maternal mortality. Oluyemi urged pregnant women to ensure they visit their doctor and midwives if they experience any abnormal thing.
“Early presentation is very key. At any point in time, when you notice any abnormality or any discomfort, you need to go to the hospital. We need to listen to advice. We need to present early. We need to be aware of the dangers of not cooperating with healthcare workers. We need to strengthen community outreach; we are going to continue to improve on this strategy so that we have healthy mothers and strong babies,” she said