….As facility Maternal mortality rate drops by 66 percent in C’River By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR –The wife of the governor of Cross River state, Mrs. Linda Ayade has asserted that Nigeria cannot prosper if the health of women and children was not made a top priority by government at all levels.Governor Ben Ayade
Mrs. Ayade made the assertion during a dissemination meeting for the “Saving Mothers and Giving Life “SMGL, initiative Organized by Pathfinders International at Transcorp Hotel, Calabar at the weekend
She said : “ With an estimated of 173.6 million ,approximately 24 percent of which are women of reproductive age ,our nation Nigeria can only truly prosper if the health of women and of course children is made top priority at all levels of government .
“Concerted efforts by government, civil society and other organisation have focused on the improving maternal and child health in other to achieve to global targets for women and child health as well as guarantee woman empowerment and reproductive rights as precursor to accelerating delivery of demographic dividends.
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“However ,the nation still grapples maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 576/100,000 live births ,a neonatal mortality rate of 128/1000 live births and infant mortality rate of 69/1000 live births “ she stated .
Mrs. Ayade represented by wife of the Deputy governor, Mrs. Omotunde Esu said the meeting will help strengthen technical and collaborative assistance that will improve the quality of maternal and newborn care practices in the state .
She said: “The partnership has led to increase in the quality of maternal, newborn health and family planning services in the state and an accelerated reduction in maternal neonatal mortality .Maternal newborn and child health outcomes are major sources of concern for this administration.
On her part Dr. Yemisi Femi –Pius ,state Programme Manager, Pathfinders international, revealed that facility mortality rate has reduced by 66 percent in the state due to the hard work funding of USAID as well as support from government .
She said : “At the end of the initiative, which lasted for five years, the intervention of the maternal mortality has reduced by 66% by in our supported facilities and neonatal mortality by 47% in our facilities.
“Pathfinder international under the saving mothers, giving life initiative is an initiative that seeks to improve maternal and new born health outcomes and it is implemented in three countries, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, it is implemented here in cross river state. We are having a reduction of 66% sand then for the newborn mortality, we have a reduction from 58 to 38, reduction of 47%,” she stated.