Provost seeks end to maternal, newborn mortality

The Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Prof Olayinka Omigbodun, has said the government needs to properly equip primary health care centres in the 774 Local Government Areas, employ skilled health professionals and station an ambulance in each of them as one of the steps towards reducing maternal and newborn mortality rate in Nigeria.
Omigbodun said health workers must also change their attitude to patients and pregnant women to avoid driving them to quacks and substandard medical facilities for treatment and deliveries.
She said this in an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of 21st distinguished alumni lecture of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association Worldwide.
Omigbodun said the Federal Government had not shown enough commitment towards improving funding of the health sector despite the fact that COVID-19 exposed that the sector was poorly funded.
She said, “The World Health Organisation recommends that our health budget should be 15 per cent of the total budget but our budget for health now is about three per cent.  Any government that is showing evidence of seriousness in tackling maternal mortality and other health issues will increase funding for health care.
“We have health centres in the 774 LGAs in the country and some of the LGAs have four to seven primary health centres. Those primary health centres should be well equipped and skilled health workers at every one of them. So that when somebody a sick or is pregnant, they will walk there. There should also be an ambulance in each of these health centres so that if there is an emergency, they can attend to such promptly.
“The environment in health centres should also be conducive. The workers should be friendly. Studies have shown that up to 60 per cent of women who attend antenatal care at government facilities, when they want to deliver, they still go to mission hospitals, traditional birth attendants and some other places to  be delivered of their babies at home.
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Release Date: 
Thursday, November 12, 2020