….Empowers 500 pregnant women in Ibadan
In a bid to reduce maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, the three-tiers of government and the private sector have been told that the latest maternal mortality rate of 576 per 100,000 births in the country is unacceptable and no pregnant woman should die of preventable danger signs.
The Medical Director, Ibadan Central Hospital (ICH), Muyiwa Bewaji, and General Manager of the hospital, Olajumoke Caxton-Martins, made the appeal during separate interviews with journalists on the sidelines of sensitisation workshop and prize-giving days to appreciate patients of the hospital and patrons, especially expectant mothers. It was organised by ICH for over 500 pregnant women in the state, as part of activities marking the 25th anniversary of the hospital.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says the “latest figures show a maternal mortality rate of 576 per 100,000 live births, the fourth highest on earth. Each year approximately 262,000 babies die at birth, the world’s second highest national total. Infant mortality currently stands at 69 per 1,000 live births.
The owner of the hospital, Dr. Abib Olamitoye, who is a great philanthropist, publisher of globally-acclaimed award-winning books and humanist par excellence, has also helped the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Oyo State Council, with massive infrastructural development, which shall be commissioned in Ibadan this month.
The Medical Director, ICH, Muyiwa Bewaji stated that “The purpose of inviting our pregnant women is to celebrate what we call health gathering and it is a bi-annual programme. We organise this programme to appreciate pregnant women in Oyo State particularly in Ibadan and its environs. Of course, the reason why we chose pregnant women is because we understand the role of mothers in the society and we want to stress and emphasize the importance of maternal and aged care in the society.
“We do this twice in a year and sensitise pregnant women on the importance of antenatal care and what to expect in pregnancy. We have in a kind, indoctrinated this place and the need to go in terms of taking care of their children when giving birth to.
“During the programme, we appreciated the pregnant women by giving them goods, such as raffle draw among others. This year’s edition is to mark our 25th anniversary and we are going to have another section for children, which is coming up next week. This is for children who were born in Ibadan Central Hospital over a decade ago. We have over 500 pregnant women present at the event today in attendance. We have given them items such as baby centre, baby wardrobe, hanger, flask, house utensils.”
Bewaji, however, emphasised the need for sensitisation, focused antenatal health care among other things towards reducing maternalmortality rate in the country, saying: “We should encourage and invite our pregnant women time to time and sensitise them and emphasise the importance of antenatal care to them and the role of pregnancy care”
The General Manager of the hospital, Caxton-Martins, described the event as way of giving back to the society, adding that maternal mortality is still high in Nigeria, which necessitates education of expectant mothers.
She lamented that some women still prefer to give birth at home or in mission homes, adding that it has become imperative to educate them on what to know whenever their health is been threatened.
“They need to know what is normal and abnormal. This is our own way of giving back to the society, educating them on what they need to pay attention to. We bring together pregnant women twice every year, we feed them, entertain and sensitise them.
“Women are important to homes because they take care of the children and family, which is the bedrock to any society. We teach them how to have these children and how to take care of them after delivery.”
Caxton-Martins said brain drain syndrome is also affecting private hospitals because doctors are in high demand everywhere in Nigeria. This is affecting the society, but our hospital still manages to handle the situation.
The pregnant women in attendance expressed gratitude to the organisers for their efforts. They expressed hope that the government and non-governmental organizations would continue to prioritise maternal and child healthcare in society. One of the expectant mothers, Dorothy Agboade, commended Ibadan Central Hospital for the initiative. She added that the programme addressed healthcare of pregnant women in the state.