‘Inadequate facilities fueling maternal, infant mortality’

Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba

Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba

A GROUP, Evidence 4 Action (E4A) has blamed the increasing maternal and infant deaths in the country on the failure of government across levels to provide adequate anti-natal care (ANC) facilities.

Worse hit, according to the national coordinator of E4A, Dr. Aminu Magashi Garba, who spoke yesterday at the end of the two-day capacity building for the northeast zone, are pregnant women and their newborns.

He noted that if the insufficient ANC facilities available had been adequately equipped with relevant drugs for safe delivery, death of newborns and mothers would have drastically reduced.

Citing the current National Demographic Health Survey, which put maternal mortality at 576 deaths per 100,000 live births, he lamented that low funding is a major constraint.

More so, he listed inadequate drugs at the facilities, as well as challenges of use of data, plan and evaluate interventions as critical barriers to progress. He urged journalists to put pressure on government and non-governmental bodies to give the health sector a facelift.

Stressing the importance of “monitoring, review and action, he disclosed that the United Nations plans to save 16 million lives in the world’s 49 poorest countries, including Nigeria, this year.

Garba regretted that the Abuja 2001 declaration that 15 per cent of each state’s annual budget should go to the health sector was not being implemented, adding that even the little amount budgeted ends up in private pockets.

In view of this, he urged the media to assist in monitoring budget implementations. The Guardian learnt that the programme was holding simultaneously in Ondo, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states, aimed at halting mother and child deaths, especially during delivery.

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