Ihidero Victor Osae, Kaduna
Traditional rulers from northern Nigeria have resolved to lead the campaign against maternal and child mortality in the Region.
The move came on the heels of the region’s poor performance in the area of maternal and child health.
According to the traditional rulers, the region has the highest rate of maternal, infant mortality among other regions in Nigeria.
This was made known during a one-day dialogue and sensitisation meeting with Northern Traditional Rulers Committee on Primary Health Care held in Kaduna State on Tuesday, chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar, who decried the high rate of maternal mortality in the north.
He stressed the need for collective effort to address the ugly trend.
The Sultan further urged traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects on the importance of providing proper antenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women and nursing mothers especially at rural communities.
According to statistics released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), no fewer than 100 women die daily across Northern Nigeria during childbirth.
This is due to a lot of factors which include medical complications – bleeding and infection, social factors – poverty, lack of education, lack of adequate medical facilities and personnel among others.
Worried by this negative development, the traditional rulers gathered to brainstorm and come up with ways of addressing this major health challenge.
The meeting was conveyed by the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development in collaboration with UNPF.
The Dean of Faculty of Medicine Kaduna State University, Dr Joel Adeze, told the gathering that lack of education and some cultural practices against women were major causes of maternal deaths.
He, however, emphasizes the role of traditional rulers in sensitising their subjects about providing qualitative health care for pregnant women.
Other participants at the meeting agreed to take the message back home and ensure all necessary steps were taken to reverse the menace.
With massive sensitisation and political will from the government, participants believe these factors would help in encouraging all stakeholders to step up measures to reduce the menace of maternal mortality and save more pregnant mothers and their children from dying during childbirth.