|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 45-46
Speech by the Honourable Minister of State for Health Dr. Olurunnimbe Mamora
|Date of Web Publication||30-Jun-2021|
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
. Speech by the Honourable Minister of State for Health Dr. Olurunnimbe Mamora. J Med Womens Assoc Niger 2021;6:45-6
| Speech by the Honourable Minister of State for Health Dr. Olurunnimbe Mamora, Federal Ministry of Health at the Medical Women's Association of Nigeria 21st Biennial Conference and General Assembly , at the Orchid Hotel, DBS Road, Asaba, On 13th September, 2019|| |
| Protocols|| |
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to address this 21st Biennial Conference of the Medical Women's Association of Nigeria. This is an opportunity for us to discuss important issues that affect women's health in Nigeria with representatives of women from different parts of the country. The theme of today's, conference which is, “Male Involvement in Maternal and Child Health” is apt, for the fact that lack of male involvement is an impediment to accessing health care.
2. Maternal Mortality has become a major public health concern with Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus as well as Female Genital Mutilation posing a huge threat to the lives of women and girls. These are conditions that can easily be prevented or treated. Available statistics show that Nigeria's Maternal Mortality Ratio is 576 per 100,000 Live births (NDHS, 2013) while our Neonatal Mortality is 38 per 1000 Live births (NDHS, 2018). Out of the 7 million babies born annually in Nigeria, about 350,000 die from neonatal tetanus. Nigeria also accounts for one-quarter of the estimated 115-130 million circumcised women in the world.
3. Currently, the major causes of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria are Haemorrhage 22%, Hypertensive diseases 12%, Infections 15%, obstructed labour 8%, Unsafe abortion 13% and Indirect causes up to 20% with Hypertensive disorders and Unsafe abortion assuming greater contributions. However, the role of the male spouse in reducing maternal deaths from these complications cannot be over emphasized.
4. Since the male gender is culturally accepted as the head of the family and he is often the breadwinner, most of the decisions are made by him. Meanwhile most of the morbidities that lead to maternal and child deaths require urgent, timely and quick interventions. This underscores the importance of the role of men in ensuring that women and children do not die from preventable conditions. It is therefore imperative that men do all that is necessary to ensure that their wives and children seek medical attention on time to mitigate the effects of “Delay one”.
5. Men's contribution to maternal and child health can come in different ways such as supporting their families through various maternal and child health services including antenatal care, ensuring early birth preparedness, making arrangements for transportation of pregnant women to the health facility as well as saving money for safe and clean hospital delivery by skilled birth attendants, just to mention a few.
6. As community, traditional and religious leaders, men can also ensure the availability of basic infrastructure and equipment through communal, corporate or personal donations to health facilities within their localities.
7. It therefore behoves all stakeholders on maternal and child health to embark on aggressive and massive awareness campaigns on men's roles in reducing maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.
8. About 65% of deliveries take place at home and often in unhygienic settings, putting the mother and the newborn at risk of tetanus infection. Safe and clean deliveries, umbilical cord care practices, equity in access to complete course of anti- tetanus immunization and other quality of care measures for maternal, newborn and child services for pregnant women and children are ideal for effective prevention of deaths from maternal and neonatal tetanus.
9. In the same vein, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an assault on the sexual reproductive health and rights of women. This practice is driven by some myths and misconceptions which do not have any evidential benefit whatsoever. We must work together as stakeholders to dispel them as severe forms of FGM have serious health consequences such as difficult delivery, vesico-vagina fistula and sexual dysfunctions in women.
10. From the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey, wide coverage and uptake of interventions addressing these challenges are low as shown by our national indicators (NDHS 2013). While Hospital delivery at birth is 26%, delivery by skilled attendance is 38% , at least four Antenatal Care (ANC) visits is 61%, Tetanus Toxoid immunisation in women is 53% and Pentavalent vaccine for children is 50%.
11. The target of Government is to achieve universal coverage in maternal and child health with at least 80%. Consequently, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) has put in place several policies to scale up high impact interventions. One of these is the Maternal Perinatal Deaths Surveillance and Response Programme. The Ministry has also developed a Road Map on Accelerated reduction of Maternal and Newborn Morbidity and Mortality in Nigeria, National Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health plus Nutrition Strategy, Basic Minimum Package of Health Services in line with our 5-year National Strategic Health Development Plan from 2018 - 2023 using existing structures at all levels of health care as a guide. The modified Midwives Service Scheme (mMSS) has also been launched with the ultimate goal of ensuring the survival of mothers and their newborn through the provision of Skilled Birth Attendants by recruiting and deploying Midwives to under-served areas, improving referral and transportation system especially where we have high burden of maternal and newborn deaths.
12. To provide an enabling implementation environment for these policies, the Basic Health Care Provision Fund has been established. Also the Saving One Million Lives Programme is providing additional resources to procure essential medicines, vaccines, mama/delivery kits and equipment as well as staff at the health facilities for maternal and child health services.
13. To fill the human resource gaps, the implementation of the task shifting and sharing policy is strategically shifting the paradigm of lack of skilled birth attendants through competency training by Government and other Stakeholders to ensure the provision of safe birth services.
14. In order to tackle the menace of vesico-vaginal fistula, the Federal Ministry of Health has developed a National Strategic Plan for the elimination of Obstetric Fistula in Nigeria. Furthermore, the establishment of one Regional Obstetric Fistula Centre and additional four (4) National Obstetric Fistula Centres is currently undergoing due process. Several campaigns are also being carried out to educate and inform the public about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In 2015, FGM was banned through legislation.
15. As I conclude, let me reiterate that Literature has shown that male involvement is critical to early identification of drawbacks to accessing health services. Since our culture recognizes males as gate keepers, educating and involving them in relevant health interventions will go a long way to reduce the barriers to timely care and improve the health seeking behavior of our women.
16. Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank the organizers of this event for inviting me. Rest assured that government is working assiduously to provide safe and quality maternal and child health services for all Nigerian women and children.
Thanks for your kind attention.
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