Friday 31 March 2023

How 225 women die every day from maternal mortality in Nigeria--- UNICEF data

No fewer than 82,000 Nigerian women are now dying yearly from pregnancy-related complications, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has said.

The organisation that seeks for urgent action by authorities to halt the ugly development, noted that 225 women are dying every day from maternal mortality in the country.


This was made known by the UNICEF Chief of Health in Nigeria, Eduardo Celades, in Lagos State on Tuesday, at a dialogue on COVID19 and Routine Immunisation, hosted by UNICEF Nigeria.


According to the statement, the new death rate arising from pregnancy-related complications doubled the figure released by the Federal Ministry of Health, just in March 2022.

He said from 2000 to 2020, the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) declined by 34 per cent – from 342 deaths to 223 deaths per 100,000 live births, adding that the country also records eight million childbirth yearly.

He expressed worry that the healthcare care facilities in the country lack the capacity to cater for this number.

It also said that over one million children under the age of five also die as a result of losing their mothers to pregnancy delivery complications.

Celades said the report would help UNICEF, development partners, state governments and other relevant stakeholders in its response to health challenges in the country.

He said, “In the last few months and weeks, we got new data. The report is telling us that still, the number of women dying from pregnancy-related causes is very high. About 82,000 are estimated to die every year from maternal mortality.


“What we are doing is to strengthen primary health care in the country. We hope that the data would help us in our response and the response with the government in Nigeria.

“The other one is the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, (MICS) an analysis where there is the main issue and how we can face them.

“The other new data is the global maternal mortality trends of 2000 to 2020. This is a new report that was launched a couple of weeks ago and we wanted to share that with you because we think this could influence how we work and define how we work with the government so that we can all align and we can have a common narrative.

“We think that this is the new way of working. We are learning and we are trying to innovate. Nigeria is one of the most complex countries in the world in terms of the public health issues that it is facing.

“It is the second country in the world with more zero-dose children–the ones that have not had any single vaccine. It is the country in the world with high maternal mortality.

“Last year was the biggest outbreak in the world and Nigeria has an extremely weak health system. So, we are trying to think from different angles because we at UNICEF and the UN cannot move alone. To do that, we need the government to work with journalists and social media influencers to make the change that is needed.”

The UNICEF Health Chief disclosed that the fund in collaboration with National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Federal Ministry of Health will soon launch antigenes virus vaccines in the country soon, noting that the vaccine would immunise children from some childhood diseases.

He expressed concerns that at the rate the country was going, it will not be about to attain target of SDG 3, by 2030.

“Maternal mortality is not going down. Maternal mortality is the same. We have seen that it has reduced by about 12 per cent in the last 20 years but it is not enough if we want to achieve the target.

“So, from UNICEF, our main approach is to try to accelerate interventions to make an impact. Now, we have seven years up to 2030 and we are halfway.  If we continue like this, some donors will leave in the next few years, so we have a window of opportunities,” he explained.


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