Routine antenatal care reduces maternal death – Experts

By: Chioma Umeha

Experts have agreed that death of women through maternal cause can be avoided if regular antenatal check-up and routine drugs taken throughout the period of pregnancy.
Stating this was the Commissioner of Health, Lagos State, Dr Jide Idris, who insisted that there is need for pregnant and nursing women to be aware of the availability health facilities and personnel and access the necessary services in order to sustain efforts in the reduction of maternal and child mortality. Idris said this on the occasion of the town hall meeting on maternal mortality reduction in Iberekodo, Ibeju, Lekki, Lagos, Thursday,  adding that state government has built hospitals, provide facilities, quality health personnel and literary materials to ensure that ensure that maternal death in the state remains on the decline.

However, he noted pregnant women and nursing mothers may not access these facilities unless they are aware of its availability and the usefulness to them, adding that this is the essence of the town hall meeting.
His word; “We have built hospitals, provided facilities, trained our staff; we have printed free booklets (brochures) which contains information on pregnancy, ante natal and child care, but we have hold this meeting today to ensure a personal interaction with you and confirm that you are aware of the availability of this facilities, its relevance and access them.”

Speaking also, Hon. Kemi Surakat, lamented that maternal mortality is the leading cause of death among women globally, especially in the less developed countries, with Africa witnessing the highest incidences of this plague. Surakat said that emphasis should be placed on preventive medicines and risk factors and diseases such as hypertension, diabetics among others that might lead to maternal mortality.

“On a monthly basis, we maintain monthly health out reaches on immunization to all corners and crannies of our areas to stem the ravages of these preventable diseases. By screening for breast and cervical cancers in our women, in order to eliminate and reduce the ever increasing rate of cancer in our women folks, he said.
Similarly, Senator Gbenga Ashafari, urged women to ensure regular ante natal check-up as well as take their routine drugs, reasoning that this will guarantee good health and safe delivery of pregnant mothers. “Pregnant mothers should visit primary healthcare centres, ensure regular ante natal care and take their routine drugs, throughout the pregnancy period,” Ashafari said. Corroborating, Senator Abike Dabiri pointed out that the brochure contains important information on food nutrients which every woman must know.

This story was published in Daily Newswatch on May 4, 2013.