Gynecologist wants reintroduction of community midwives to tackle maternal mortality

Whatapp News

Prof. Innocent Ujah

By Peter Amine

Jos – Prof. Innocent Ujah of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Jos, has called for the reintroduction of community midwives to reduce the rampant cases of maternal mortality in the country.Ujah made the call on Tuesday in Jos at the 90th inaugural lecture of University of Jos entitled: “Navigating Landmines; The Travails of Motherhood in Nigeria.”The physician with over 41 years of experience, said that the community midwives programme which was abolished by Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, was necessary at this time.“It should be brought back to replace the traditional birth attendants which clearly do not have the requisite skills to provide clinical obstetric care and the complications arising from childbearing.“This will help to reduce the distortion in the distribution of midwives in the country toward improving maternal and child-care,” he said.The Don also called for the establishment of National Bank for Health in line with the establishment of specialised banks such as that of Industry and Agriculture.He said that the bank would support access to funds at  single digit interest rates which would further boost affordable healthcare, particularly maternal and child healthcare.According to him, such policy will curb medical tourism and improve quality of health through the procurement of state-of-the-art equipment.Ujah said that to reduce maternal mortality to the barest minimum, the National Health Insurance Scheme should be re-positioned and made compulsory to all Nigerians.He said that such measure would enhance financial access that would help to reduce avoidable deaths in pregnancy and childhood.The medical expert harped on the need to make Health Insurance Schemes in the country functional and responsive to people’s needs.“It has been established that if all girls are educated up to secondary school level, over 80 per cent of maternal deaths in Nigeria and indeed other developing countries will be prevented.“Education is a powerful weapon for improved socio-economic development.“The Federal Government should, therefore,  make education compulsory for all but free for the girl-child up to secondary school level.“It has been proven that there are less cases of maternal mortality among educated women than the illiterate ones,” he said.Prof. Sabastian Maimako, Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, thanked Ujah for what he termed “incisive and life changing presentation”.Maimako, who was represented by Prof. Lami Longbin, Chairman of the institutions  College of Deans, said that the recommendations,  if implemented would reduce  maternity mortality rate. (NAN)