Your role in reducing maternal mortality very crucial – MSF to traditional leaders

Your role in reducing maternal mortality very crucial – MSF to traditional leaders

Your role in reducing maternal mortality very crucial – MSF to traditional leaders

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Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, has told traditional leaders that they have a greater role to play in the ongoing efforts to fight the persistent maternal mortality rate in Jigawa State.

Dr Fatima Aliyu, the MSF Medical Team leader at Jahun Hospital disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the District Head of Taura, emphasizing on the crucial role of traditional leaders in promoting maternal health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Maternal mortality rate, MMR, of Nigeria is 814 (per 100,000 live births). The lifetime risk of a Nigerian woman dying during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum or post-abortion is 1 in 22, in contrast to the lifetime risk in developed countries estimated at 1 in 4900”

While for Jigawa State, Data from the NDHIS in 2021 indicated that Maternal mortality in the state is at 174 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Dr Fatima said Maternal mortality remains a significant concern in Jigawa State, with numerous women losing their lives due to pregnancy-related complications each year.

Recognizing the pivotal influence of traditional leaders within their communities, MSF underscored the importance of their support in improving healthcare services and raising awareness about maternal health issues.

She said to help prevent maternal deaths, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF, has collaborated with the Jigawa State Ministry of Health to provide much-needed comprehensive emergency obstetrics and newborn care.

She explained that traditional leaders possess unique cultural influence and authority that can be leveraged to encourage pregnant women to seek antenatal care and deliver in healthcare facilities, as up to about 80 percent of deliveries still occur at homes.

In response to MSF’s call, the District Head of Taura, Nura Usman expressed commitment to supporting initiatives aimed at safeguarding maternal health.

He praised MSF’s efforts and pledged to collaborate closely with healthcare authorities to address the root causes of maternal mortality in the community and Jigawa State.

He explained that the traditional institution is working closely to identify pregnant women who have been attending the antenatal services but still choose to remain at home for delivery.

According to him” most of the problem is not about the antenatal care but attending facilities for delivery is the problem, because you can see if about 1000 pregnant women are attending antenatal care only 200 or less than that would attend hospital for deliveries” the District Head said.

“These problems are due to lack of awareness, poverty and lack of access road in most of the hard-to-reach communities”

He said the traditional leaders are making efforts to create more awareness of the importance of seeking antenatal care and delivery in health facilities through Friday sermons and other public gatherings,

He said they have also directed ward heads to monitor and report any husbands who refuse to take his wife to the hospital for delivery for appropriate action.

Malam Lawaisa, a 28-year-old mother of two and a patient of vesicovaginal fistula, VVFz,, recounted her traumatic experience during her first childbirth.

She said she endured a prolonged and difficult labour, which ultimately led to her developing VVF. Following surgery, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) advised her to seek immediate medical attention when giving birth to her second child, emphasizing the importance of caution and timely intervention to prevent a recurrence of her condition.

Another victim, Zilai Yau, a 23-year-old mother of four from Afitawa, Taura LG, shared her experiences of giving birth at home compared to in a hospital.

She highlighted the importance of attending hospital and emphasized the necessity for pregnant women to attend antenatal care and opt for hospital deliveries for the safety of both mother and baby.

“I was received, treated and taken care of with respect up to the time I delivered my baby free of charge”

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