Written by Ijeoma UKAZU

Recession: Expert calls for prompt action to curb child, maternal death

As recession bites harder, president of National Association of Resident Doctors, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH Chapter, Dr. Afolabi Akinkunmi,has said that prompt measures need to be put in place to curb child and maternal mortality in Nigeria.

Akinkunmi, who is a trained gynaecologist, stated this at the 10th quarterly civil society media forum tagged: Overcoming the Challenges of Maternal Death during Recession in Nigeria.

He said with the current economic recession in the country, many families cannot afford health care services which he said increases the rate of maternal and child death.

The medical expert however said these deaths can be linked to delays experienced by a pregnant woman which includes; primary, secondary and tertiary delay.

While explaining further, he said, the delay ranges from challenges faced from the home due to debt owed by the man of the house and the pregnant wife being a house wife depends solely on her husband.

He also said, the secondary delay could be access to the hospital due to traffic with no available family car, adding that tertiary delay could also be due to procedure of treatment for the woman, lack of power supply, blood production in the hospital bank.

Akinkunmi attributed the impact of economic recession to include high cost of consumables due to the dollar rate, teenage pregnancy which tends to pose more complication due to immaturity and could force parents to withdraw sponsorship of the pregnant teenager.

He added that adequate nutrition of the child is highly needed which includes; exclusive breastfeeding and formula feeding which are expensive.

Akinkunmi calls on the government to increase funding for health which according to the World Health Organisation, WHO, recommendation is 15 percent, adding that the National Health Act should be implemented to cover pregnant women and children. 

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