Expert urges govt to fund further research on maternal healthcare

By Oluwakemi Oladipo

Lagos  –  A medical researcher, Dr Bamidele Iwalokun, has called on the government to fund further research into maternal healthcare delivery in the country.

Iwalokun, Head of Immunology and Vaccinology Research at Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.

“The government has to do a lot of research to improve the maternal health indices of the country.

“We need implementation and compliance with policies to ensure our reproductive, maternal and new born and childhood health programmes are integrated,’’ Iwaloku said.

According to him, Nigeria accounts for 10 per cent of global maternal deaths yearly in which about 83 women die daily from pregnancy and child-birth related challenges.

“Currently, the seven major causes of maternal deaths in Nigeria are severe bleeding after child birth, infection and high blood pressure during pregnancy.

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“Others include complications during delivery, unsafe abortion, malaria and HIV/AIDS during pregnancy.

“There is a huge disparity in maternal deaths in Nigeria because the figures are higher in Northern Nigeria than Southern Nigeria. It is higher in South-eastern Nigeria than South West,” he said.

The medical researcher said that the country’s primary health centres should focus more premium healthcare services.

“Every health institution, especially primary health centres, should have injectables, magnesium sulfate, blood pressure/fetal heart sound monitors.

“Child delivery kit, anti-shock garment, oxygen ambulance, health education materials, trained health workers and quality laboratory services for urine test, among others,” he said.

The medical researcher advised pregnant women to register for ante-natal and deliver their babies in registered hospitals where skilled workers were available. (NAN)

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