Maternal mortality: Traditional birth attendants have no business in obstetrics ― Mimiko
Immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has said that training traditional birth attendants will not save maternal lives in the country.
Mimiko, who was a guest speaker at endowed lecture series of the Kola Olafimihan, College of Health Sciences of the University of Ilorin on Tuesday, said that traditional birth attendants should only refer pregnant women to public facilities but not to handle birth deliveries.
He said that any sort of recognition to traditional birth attendants and every untrained hand is like committing Nigerian women to untimely deaths.
The former governor, who is a medical practitioner, said that traditional birth attendants have no business in obstetrics, adding that the 2012 confidential enquiry into maternal deaths in Ondo state (CEMDOS) report showed that over 90 per cent of maternal deaths were linked to mismanagement or delayed referrals by unskilled faith-based or traditional birth attendants.
Talking on the topic, Sustainable strategies to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria: My experience, Mimiko said that maternal mortality which had been on decline globally, had been on the rise in Nigeria from 545 per 100,000 live births in 2008 to 575 in 2014 (NDHS).
“WHO figure of 814 in 2015, an increase of 30 per cent over the 2010 figure of 630 even seems worse. As a matter of fact, we have graduated from being No 2 globally to have the largest number of women dying from pregnancy-related causes in 2015 -overtaking India that hitherto occupied the unenviable position. Nigeria contributes 58,000 which is 19 per cent of global maternal deaths while India’s 45,000 is 15 per cent”, he said.
He also said that sustainable strategies to reduce maternal mortality would include policy targeting (of maternal care), increased public health funding, elimination of financial barrier, health system strengthening and sustained political will.
Also speaking, the deputy governor of Kwara State, Mr Kayode Alabi, said that poverty contributed to the ugly statistics of maternal mortality in the country, adding that many women, especially, those in the rural areas, due to low income and limited resources, hardly have access to quality prenatal and postnatal care.
“It is time for government at all levels to stop paying lip service to the system of health care delivery, especially, as it affects maternal and child welfare”, he said.