… Call for Collective Action to Enhance Maternal Health

In a significant stride towards combatting maternal and child mortality in Lagos State, officials of the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics Nigeria (SOGON), Lagos sector, recently paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Health.

Led by former National President Prof. Rotimi Akinola, an elder of the Society and Chief Medical Director of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo, and SOGON Lagos Sector Chairman, Prof. Abidoye Gbadegesin, they were warmly received by the State Health Commissioner, Prof Akin Abayomi and the Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Kemi Ogunyemi.

During discussions, critical initiatives for partnership and collaboration to address maternal mortality and improve maternal and child health were deliberated upon.

Prof. Gbadegesin, Chair of SOGON Lagos Sector, underscored the urgent need to tackle maternal mortality and enhance women’s health in Lagos and Nigeria. He highlighted SOGON’s past initiatives such as Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Review (MPDSR) and emergency obstetrics training, emphasising the importance of stakeholder collaboration.

Recognizing the multifaceted nature of reproductive health improvement, Prof. Gbadegesin stressed the collective responsibility of various sectors in addressing maternal health challenges. He advocated for legislative support to fortify efforts aimed at reducing maternal mortality rates.

Former SOGON President Prof. Rotimi Akinola emphasised reigniting collaboration between SOGON and the Lagos State Government, specifically targeting maternal mortality. He highlighted past collaborations that led to the establishment of the MPDSR desk, aiming to identify high maternal death areas and conduct advocacy in those regions.

Expressing concerns about unsafe abortions impacting maternal health, Prof. Akinola stressed the need for safe termination guidelines and SOGON’s active involvement in policy development related to maternal health.

In response, Health Commissioner Prof. Abayomi expressed gratitude for reigniting the partnership, emphasising collaborative strategies to improve maternal and child health. He called for precise data classification and an efficient referral system from Traditional Birth Attendants to Primary Healthcare Centres and higher levels of care, seeking SOGON’s support in empowering healthcare practitioners.

The Commissioner addressed the sensitive topic of safe abortion guidelines, proposing a thorough review and stakeholder engagement to determine the best approach.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Dr. Kemi Ogunyemi highlighted the urgency to tackle maternal mortality, stressing the need for collaboration between the government and professional bodies like SOGON as well as the importance of retraining and supporting healthcare professionals.

CMD of LASUTH, Prof Adetokunbo Fabamwo commended SOGON’s contribution to maternal health improvement and called for revitalising quarterly MPDSR meetings.

“This renewed effort signifies a crucial moment in addressing maternal mortality. It also recognises the need for collaborative action between SOGON and governmental entities in safeguarding the well-being of mothers and children in Lagos State.

Also in attendance at the meeting were the Medical Director, Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Dr. Femi Omololu; Vice Chairman, SOGON Lagos Sector, Dr. Yusuf Oshodi; Immediate Past Chairman, SOGON Lagos Dr. Akinde Joseph and Secretary of the Society, Dr. Modupe Adedeji.

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