Oyo inaugurates hospital committees to stem deaths of mother, newborns

OYO State government on Tuesday inaugurated maternal and prenatal death surveillance and response committees for all its general and tertiary hospitals to monitor and curtail the death of women in pregnancy and childbirth.

Dr Basir Bello, Oyo State Commissioner for Health, inaugurating these committees, at a training workshop for 120 doctors and nurses on the implementation of maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response, in Ibadan said the committee was expected to find the contributory factors to women dying in labour or shortly afterwards in their respective hospital and proffer solutions to checkmate these deaths.

Bello, a consultant obstetric and gynaecologist said no single death of a child or mother should be swept underground and that each hospital committee should ensure documentation of all cases, including its cause.

The Health Commissioner stated that although major causes of women dying from childbirth in Africa were due to bleeding, infection and hypertensive diseases of pregnancy, most of these deaths were preventable.

Earlier, Director Reproductive Health Division, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Dr Kayode Afolabi speaking at the training organised by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with Rotary International with support from Oyo State Ministry of Health, stated that about 50,000 women die annually from preventable causes during pregnancy, labour and after childbirth in Nigeria.

According to him, scaling up the implementation of the maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response project across the country was important.

This, according to him, is to increase response to address these causes of maternal death and prevent subsequent ones at different levels of healthcare, including at the community.

Dr Afolabi added, “It will help to strengthen our health facility as a whole.  When we look at major challenges around health systems today, the issue of data, availability and reliability are very crucial for us to address.”

The don, who puts Nigeria’s maternal mortality ratio at 512 per 100,000 live births, said cutting this by 90 per cent from now was important to ensure the county met the Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5.

“We will do not it without challenges, but with passion and commitment,” he added.

Chairman, Oyo state Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response team, Dr Olufemi Adesanya stated that every maternal death was a disaster for the family and that 80 per cent of babies that lose their mother never attains life achievements.

He added, “ we don’t want any woman dying anywhere as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.”

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