Federal Government has inaugurated a 34-member Task Force to accelerate reduction of maternal mortality in Nigeria.
The Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole who inaugurated the Task Force in Abuja said that maternal and child mortality in the North-West and North-Eastern part of the country is worrisome and the Federal Ministry of Health is committed to bringing it to an end.
The Minister said that in order for Nigeria to achieve maximum reduction of maternal and child mortality, the Federal and affected State Governments must put extra efforts to ensure that the causes of the maternal mortality were addressed.
Adewole said: “there is need to think outside the box and strategically chart a road map to strengthen the health system and drastically reduce the maternal mortality in Nigeria.”
The Minister said that the major causes of maternal mortality are Hemorrhage, Hypertensive diseases, obstructed labour, unsafe abortion among others, adding that States with the worst maternal health indicators are Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, and Yobe.
Commissioners of Health from the six worse affected states are part of the task force team that is expected to submit final report to the Minister of Health within 12 weeks. He added.
The Terms of reference of the team include to conduct a rapid situational analysis and landscaping of maternal mortality in the country, to make recommendation on road map for the immediate mid-term and long term reduction of maternal mortality and to document any other recommendation that may strengthen the Nigerian Health System with a view to improving maternal health nationwide.
“Maternal mortality remains unacceptably high in Nigeria, ranking among the highest in the world and the rate of reducing these deaths have been slow as many of the contributory factors remain unaddressed. The Task Force should recommend ways to address these issues that will accelerate reduction of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria”, Adewole stressed.
The Minister urged the members of the Task Force team to be committed, transparent and accountable in all their endeavours as Nigerians are monitoring and expecting positive results from them.
In her remarks, the Country Director, Maternal and Child Health (MNCH2) Dr. Salma Anas Kolo who is also a member of the Task Force expressed her readiness to partner with the Task Force to crash down the maternal mortality in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Task Force, Prof. Adeniran Olubukola Fawole , Director National Institute of Maternal and Child Health, Collage of Medicine, University of Ibadan assured the Minister that the Task Force would do everything possible to reduce maternal mortality in the country.