How govt can reduce maternal mortality rate – Health advocate


Mrs Franka Okeke, a U.K.-based maternal health advocate, has appealed to government at all levels to improve on the health care facilities to reduce maternal deaths in the country.

Okeke made the appeal in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday while recounting her near death experience during childbirth in a government hospital in Lagos.

She said as a way of minimising maternal deaths in Nigeria, there is urgent need for government to increase budgetary allocation to primary health facilities and make the health facilities more friendly for pregnant women.

‘Government at levels should invest adequate resources in infrastructure development, equipment and drugs for the adequate provision of basic and comprehensive emergency care in accordance with global standards,’ the maternal health survivor said.

Okeke, who noted that the high prevalence of maternal mortality was of concern, called for urgent action by the government to stop needless maternal deaths.

‘Governments need
to do something to stop the needless maternal deaths in Nigeria.

‘There is need to ensure proper monitoring of private hospitals because there are many with quack doctors, while government hospitals are also too slow and there are some conditions that are urgent.

‘Besides, government should provide comprehensive health coverage for Nigerians, especially pregnant women so that out of pocket medical expenses can be minimised,’ she said.

Narrating her ordeal, Okeke said: ‘God delivered me from near death experience while giving birth. There is so much to thank God for in our lives.

‘I had fluid in the lung, several complications, haematoma and sepsis. Even doctors misdiagnosed my condition.

‘I had preterm twin babies and I had to leave them for months, and go to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and other places, looking for solution.

‘The doctors said it was my womb that was protruded which led to sepsis and more complications.

‘Also, I had surgery and doctors were not ready to repeat another su
rgery. My blood level was very low but God saved me,’ she said.

Okeke, who noted that she recently released a single track song titled ‘I’m loving you Jesus’ on YouTube and other digital outlets, said the song was to thank God for saving her life during childbirth.

Okeke also said that she had published a book titled ‘The Tears We Bleed”, endorsed by the Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecologist of Nigeria, which chronicled maternal death and fistula issues in Nigeria.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria