Aisha Buhari decries high rate of pregnancy related death
She spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting on proposed efforts to improve the health of women and children in the country at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“It is painful to know that every year Nigeria loses 33,000 women due to pregnancy related conditions; 800,000 of its children under five years and 260,000 newborns.
“Furthermore, Nigeria disproportionately bears 50 per cent of the global child mortality even though it makes up only about two per cent of the global population.
“Far too many children under the age five are still stunted and under-weight,’’ she said.
The president’s wife lamented that Nigeria was still classified among the countries that made insufficient progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
She said the “gloomy outlook’’ regarding the health of women and children provided more than enough reasons for a holistic and concerted action to accelerate efforts to change the status quo.
Aisha said the health of women and children was one of the major issues dear to her heart and would do everything possible to address it.
She said the forum was part of measures to address the challenges and called for suggestion on how best to augment the ongoing efforts towards improving the health and well being of women and children in the country.
Aisha said that one of the cardinal objectives of the administration was to improve the overall well being and heath status of women and children.
She expressed readiness to use her privileged position to champion the course of improving the health of women and children in the country.
“To this end, I am today in the presence of all of you, declaring to lend my voice in order to bring about the desired change in this regard,’’ she said.
She identified “five broad but cross-cutting themes’’ to guide her involvement in advancing the course.
The five themes, according to her, include advocacy for health as human right, accelerated implementation of identified programmes and influencing investment to the health sector.
The others are mobilisation of communities for improved maternal and child health and increased provision and utilisation of Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health services (RMNCAH).
The Wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, said that Nigeria needed a lot of advocacy to achieve the health services delivery to women and children.
Mr Linus Awate, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, said that RMNCAH advocacy meeting was a blessing to the ministry as it would impact positively on the ongoing health programmes and projects in the country.
He added that the advocacy would make health services accessible and affordable to citizens.
The event was attended by the heads of government ministries and parastatal agencies as well as heads of UN agencies and development partners.