–         Bolanle Ambode charges expectant mothers

Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has renewed her call on expectant mothers to patronize primary health centres and skilled birth attendants in the State, to reduce the incidence of maternal and infant mortality.

She gave the advice today at a town hall meeting on the reduction of maternal and child mortality organized by Lagos State Ministry of Health at Epe Local Government.

Mrs. Ambode blamed prevailing maternal mortality rate on the failure of expectant mothers to access obstetric services provided by the government.

“Almost every minute, somewhere in a corner of the world, a woman dies as a result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. For every woman that dies, about 20 others survive but suffer from serious diseases, disability or physical damage, caused by complications. Majority of these maternal deaths are avoidable if expectant mothers access quality reproductive health care, including skilled attendance at birth,” she said.

“Non-use of essential obstetric services is a crucial factor that contributes to high maternal mortality. Some women refuse to access care when highly necessary either because of cultural practices or because decision-making is the responsibility of other family members”, she added.

Mrs. Ambode stressed that while the role of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) is acknowledged, it is important they know their limitations and ensure prompt referrals to Primary Health Care Centres.

She appealed to women of child-bearing age and pregnant women to avail themselves of the free services during the Child Health Week, taking place throughout this week, by visiting the nearest Primary Health facility closest to them.

The Governor’s wife, who urged women to pay attention to their nutrition during pregnancy, enlisted the support of families, religious and community groups to win the battle against the menace of infant and maternal mortality.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, noted that it was important for TBAs to register with the State Government, adding that reports indicated that expectant mothers still patronize those TBAs that are not trained to handle unforeseen complications during pregnancy or childbirth.

The Commissioner said that the State Government had done so much in the area of primary health-care, as the Governor was very passionate about the health of the citizenry.

He enjoined everyone to come together at the end of the town hall meeting and resolve to do the right thing and save the lives of mothers during pregnancy and babies after childbirth, stressing that everyone has a role to play in this regard.

Delivering their goodwill messages, a member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Epe Federal Constituency, Hon. Tasir Raji and Chairman, House Committee on Health in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Segun Olulade, both noted that there was a strong link between the health and survival of a mother and that of her new-born.

Raji said it was imperative for the State Government to explore the possibility of registering the TBAs with a view to integrating them into the healthcare delivery system, as this according to him, would help build capacity to ease the burden in the health sector.

Olulade stressed that concerted efforts must be made to ensure that no woman in Lagos State loses her life during pregnancy or childbirth.

In attendance were top government functionaries, traditional rulers, the health family, Traditional Birth Attendants, and other stakeholders.

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