Written by Williams ABAH

“Maternal health cannot be addressed without family planning”

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has said that the issue of maternal health could not be addressed without tackling the issue of family planning.

The minister stated this in Abuja when he received a report on maternal health in Nigeria, which was presented by Chima Izugbara, a Senior Research Scientist on Population, Dynamics and Reproductive health, African Population and Health Research Centre

Izugbara said that promotion of family planning and child spacing are the ingredients to reducing morbidity and maternal mortality in Nigeria, stressing that there is need to look at education to address poverty and increase access to healthcare.

While giving the background of the report, Izugbara said that maternal health remains an area for urgent policy and pragmatic attention in Nigeria, adding that nearly one in every four women in Sub-Saharan African is a Nigerian.

He stressed that the plight of women in Nigeria would vastly impinge on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in the region, adding that investing purposely in safeguarding maternal health in the country was a sure way for improving on the current levels of progress and guaranteeing the future potential for growth and advancement in African as a whole.  

According to the report, an estimated 9.22 million pregnancies occur annually in Nigeria, noting that a quarter of these pregnancies were unintended and 56 percent of the unintended pregnancies were aborted.  

The report further stated that about 53 percent of the population of Nigeria lives in rural settings are particularly at risk for poor maternal health morbidity, adding that maternal health challenges of rural women are frightened by the urban bias in the location of health facilities and the availability of human resources for health.  

The report further stated that adequate funding is critical for addressing the current shortage of high quality human resources for maternal health at all skill level and increasing government investment in multi sectoral funding will help to address infrastructural deficiency that characterized the Nigerian health system.

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