Written by Ndidi Chukwu
The Accountability for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Nigeria (AMHiN) a national coalition of Civil Societies, Media and Professional Bodies committed to promoting accountability and transparency in the Health Sector have called on the Nigeria to make maternal death notifiable.
AHMiN coordinator, Dr. Aminu Magashi Magashi said in Abuja at the launch of the Report of “Progress on Country Accountability Framework for Women’s and Children’s Health in Nigeria” an accountability handbook for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, that Nigeria’s national policy does not have provision for notification of maternal deaths within 24 hours. There has been a launch of Nigeria’s maternal health review guideline, yet there is no death notification within 24 hours” Magashi said
“Our Governors and Local Government chairmen should be worried that women are dying, they should go as far as buying cost effective drugs like misoprostol to prevent maternal deaths, and save women from bleeding after delivery. A lot of women are dying and are having convulsion during pregnancies, governors should be buying these drugs” said Dr. Magashi
Executive Secretary of Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), Dr. Mohammad Lecky, said “Accountability is one of the cardinal point for democracy, we must hold people accountable and it is everybody’s business, it is a watchword for us all”
Lecky said progress made by the Nigerian government in area of maternal and newborn health could be better, where there is transparency on health expenditure “We have seen the progress that we are making but we have to know if the progress is good enough, to know if we have achieve the goal and the expected impact level that is expected”
Demographic & Health Survey (DHS) 2013 estimates that Nigeria has approximately 576 maternal deaths per100, 000 live births and contributes about 14% of the global burden of maternal deaths. The infant mortality rate of 69 per 1,000 live births are steadily declining, but remain unacceptably high, with the Millennium Development Goals unlikely to be met.
“Despite significant financial and technical investments in the health sector in Nigeria, progress to improving health has been slow. Many key stakeholders including government officials are beginning to acknowledge accountability as the catalyst for change” said CISLAC Executive Secretary, Auwal Ibrahim Musa.
Musa noted that Nigeria would begin to improve Maternal and Child Health Intervention, if maternal death notifications are done, “if the country will begin to notify and report maternal death, then we will be making progress, that will naturally bring about transparency in MNCH programmes” he said