By Ndidi Chukwu
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Nigeria (SOGON) said at least 1,500 obstetricians and gynecologists have sign up to deliver obstetrics services at community levels to reduce the rate of maternal mortality in the nation.
SOGON President, Dr Joseph Adinma announced in a press conference that its members have begun volunteering at primary health centres under a newly inaugurated volunteer scheme which is targeted at achieving safe births in rural areas. His comment came as SOGON marked its 9th international congress and annual general meeting in Abuja, to focus on promoting women’s health.
He said the volunteer obstetrician’s scheme, which has latched onto the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, “is currently being implemented in a number of states and is soon going to be formally flagged off for nationwide implementation.”
Under the scheme, experts in obstetrics and gynecology working in tertiary hospitals will commit regular hours free of charge to consult in primary health centres nearest to their place of work in efforts to afford rural women expert care.
SOGON is also pushing for national obstetrics and gynecology unions across West Africa to band into a regional association as has been done in Latin America and East and Southern Africa.
The sub- regional association of obstetricians and gynecologists of West Africa could be prelude to a college for specialty, which is subsumed under the West African College of Surgeons.
“Every country has a SOGON. There are lots of things that can bring us together in the sub region,” said Adinma, insisting SOGON was looking to create a common front in obstetrics and gynecology and move the frontiers in women and children’s health. SOGON said its members have already begun a programme for free maternal health services for internally displaced people in Borno, Bauchi and Yobe states.
But it is also pushing for maternal and child death surveillance, which will track and probe every pregnancy and childbirth-related death nationwide.