Health Minister tasks stakeholders on reduction of maternal deaths

Isaac Adewole, healthTHE Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has urged stakeholders in the Health sector to support the Maternal and Perinatal Deaths Surveillance and Response Programme, which would provide an evidence-based response for improving maternal and newborn health in Nigeria.

The Minister made the call during the Advocacy and Sensitization Meeting on Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR), held recently in Abuja.

Prof. Adewole, who was represented by the Director, Department of Family Health, Dr (Mrs) Adebimpe Adebiyi, noted that with concerted efforts from the Stakeholders towards reducing maternal and perinatal deaths, it was expected that there would be a remarkable reduction in maternal and perinatal mortality in the forthcoming 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey.

He further said the Federal Government through the Health Ministry was currently implementing a new National Health Policy with the view to ensuring the survival of mothers and their newborns through the provision of skilled Birth Attendants.

He added that Midwives were being recruited and deployed to under-served areas with a high burden of maternal deaths.

Prof. Adewole informed that the ministry and its partners had developed a National Guideline and tools as well as training manuals for the Maternal and Perinatal Deaths Surveillance and Response (MPDSR).

He said that training had been concluded in all the 36 States and FCT, in line with the National Strategic Health Development Plan.

He pointed out that the programme was currently being piloted in eight states, based on the performance of the platform, stressing that the Federal Government had approved the recommendation for the scaling up of the use for Data Management on MPDSR process in 36 States and the FCT.

He stressed the need for the integration of civil and vital registration like compulsory register births and deaths at all levels, adding that it would bring National Health Information Management System into the MPDSR processes.

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Prof. Adewole noted that with a routine identification, notification, quantification and determination of causes of Maternal and Perinatal Deaths with necessary interventions, the national health system would enhance the health of mothers and babies; adding, “no woman should die giving birth.”

The Minister commended the development partners like WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and notably the Rotary International for the initiative to support Data Management in MPDSR in Nigeria, adding that the Electronic Platform provided data entry, collection, collation analysis and instant report generation for each level of health care delivery on MPDSR.

In his remark, the National Coordinator of Rotary International in Nigeria, Prof.Adedolapo Lufadeju, said that the organisation initiatives like Quality Assurance in Obstetrics (QOA) and the e-platform Data Collection was to support Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR), was geared towards reducing mother and newborn deaths in Nigeria.

In his Goodwill message, the German Ambassador in Nigeria, Bernhard Schlagheck, stressed that Data processing is key in reducing Maternal and Perinatal deaths and pledged that the German government will continue to provide technical support to the MPDSR Programme in Nigeria.

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