The Federal Ministry of Health has disclosed that no fewer than 50,000 women die annually in Nigeria as a result of maternal reproductive health related issues in the country.
The ministry said the figure meant that every hour, seven women die from maternal reproductive causes, according to the National Demographic Health Survey report.
The Director and Head of Reproductive Health, Dr Kayode Afolabi, stated these during the orientation/data quality assessment meeting with state family health stakeholders on National Self-Care/ Self Injection Guidelines in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Thursday.
Afolabi explained that the deaths were avoidable, hence the need for the self care initiative, which entailed individuals protecting their health and accessing health care without delay.
The director stated that family planning was a prevention method for maternal mortality, saying unplanned pregnancies were hazardous and could lead to death.
He added, “We are in a country where maternal mortality is very high. We are losing 50,000 women annually to maternal causes and it also translates in losing about seven women every one hour to maternal mortality. These are figures we are not proud of.
“Self care is an innovation to support universal health coverage and we are using reproductive maternal health as an entry into self-care in Nigeria. It is putting us in charge of our health, to be more responsible for our health and therefore promote it.’’
We believe this will improve our health system, especially the most vulnerable women and children.”
He commended the state government for its readiness to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health in achieving the goals of the initiative, noting that Ondo State was the 13th state to have witnessed the initiative.
The Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, Ms Folukemi Aladenola, said the initiative would be very beneficial to women as they would be able to take care of themselves through family planning.
Aladenola, represented by the Director of Nursing Services in the ministry, Mrs Alice Ogundele, advised the participants to get the most from the programme because they would train their clients in their different local government areas.