Neonatal UNICEF, Zamfara, infant katsina TBAs
Zamfara state has recorded positive neonatal indices as well as a reduction in the under-five mortality rate.

Childbirth Should be ‘Time of Life, Not Death’

A Non-Governmental Organisations, the National Advocates for Health, has attributed high infant-maternal death in Nigeria to maternal health setbacks in the country.

The chairman of the organisation, Mohammed Usman, said this during a two-day meeting with NGOs, in Abuja and urged stakeholders to see maternal health as a priority in the country.

The meeting was organised by Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) and it centered on ‘Young People to Promote Accountability for FP2030 Commitment, Every Newborn Action Plan, Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality and Sexual Gender-Based Violence’.

FP2030 focuses on a variety of issues in order to increase access to rights-based, voluntary family planning, regardless of geographical location.

Usman said that maternal deaths have either increased or stagnated across the country.

He said that Sustainable Development Goal Target 3.1 is to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.

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“In November 2021, new EPMM coverage targets were launched to meet the SDGs, and these were supplemented with several global, national and sub-national EPMM indicators.

“The indicators highlighted the need to increase coverage of quality maternal health care and improve women’s ability to make their own decisions about their sexual and reproductive health,” he explained.

Usman said unless the country makes progress on national targets for reducing maternal deaths – most of which were preventable – the lives of women dying in the country while giving birth would be more by 2023.

He said that governments at all levels must look at the gap that still exists, stressing that childbirth should be a time of life, not death.

According to him, “As stakeholders, we should play our role effectively to ensure that the government delivers on its commitment to FP, Enap, EPMM and Sexual Gender-based Violence Justice in Nigeria.

He commended AHBN for convening the annual meeting with NGOs, Young People and Media to continue to promote accountability.

The Health Economist, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist for AHBN, Mrs. Maimuna Abdullahi, called for renewed action in the country to meet the targets of reducing maternal, and newborn mortality, and stillbirth by 2030.