714 Women Die During Child Birth

•A woman and her baby in hospital

•A woman and her baby in hospital

Kazeem Ugbodaga

At least 714 women died during child birth in Lagos public health facilities between 2010 and 2012. The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, disclosed  this on Wednesday and quickly added that such tragic births were declining steadily as more women embrace family planning and Caesarian Section.

The commissioner made the disclosure at Alausa, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, while reviewing the state’s maternal and child mortality programme, aimed at stemming maternal and child mortality in the state.

•A woman and her baby in hospital
•A woman and her baby in hospital

To buttress his point that there is a reduction in maternal death in the state, the commissioner read out the statistics obtained in public health facilities.

The statistics showed that 318 women died during child birth in public hospitals in 2010 but  reduced to 201 in 2011 and further reduced to 195 in 2012, while the statistics for 2013 is still being collated.

Idris said the government is addressing maternal and child mortality by adopting the best practice, explaining that the government had reviewed its progress so far and would not change its strategies as they are yielding the needed result.

“We are addressing the three delays leading to mortality rate. One of such is seeking assistance due to lack of information or poverty. There is also delay in having access to these services and delay in getting the right services. We are addressing these through advocacy and public enlightenment.

“We have gone to the three senatorial districts to sensitise the people to make use of the Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs. We have gone to Oshodi, Amuwo Odofin, Ibeju Lekki and Surulere to hold stakeholders’ meeting,” he explained.

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Idris also said that out of the 20,638 women who gave birth in the state’s public hospitals in the first 10 months of last year, 9,326 of them were delivered of their babies through surgical procedure.

He said 11,312 women had normal delivery, which is the most common, while the rest gave birth through surgery, adding that this has helped to stem maternal and child mortality.

He said the statistics was between January and October, 2013.

He explained that normal birth delivery stood at 52 per cent while those who went through Caesarean Section represented 48 percent of the delivery rate.

“More women are now undergoing family planning, but that is not to say everything is rosy. Enlightenment is more important. We are still getting maternal death but there is reduction. Government is taking this issue seriously, the rate of maternal death is not acceptable and we are doing more to curb this,” he said.

According to Idris, government had been able to distribute over 330,000 child health booklets and 195,000 maternal health booklets to mothers and pregnant women through the PHCs and tertiary health facilities.

The commissioner said the government had been able to complete seven Maternal and Child Centres, MCCs in some parts of Lagos, while three others were being built in Epe, Badagry and Ibeju Lekki, adding that these MCCs had 110 beds each and are well equipped.

Idris added that Ayinke House Maternity Hospital located at Ikeja, Lagos, which is being renovated, would serve as pivot point in stemming maternal and child death as cases that could not be handled by the MCCs would be referred to the hospital.