Muhammad Pate, minister of state for health, has said that Nigeria recorded 60 percent reduction in maternal and newborn mortality rate in the past three years.
Pate, who spoke in Kuala Lumpur at the third global conference on ‘Women Deliver’, said that the reduction was recorded in the midwifery service scheme facilities across the nation.
“In 2009, with funding from the Debt Relief Grant, we started the midwives services scheme (MSS), with 400,000 midwives, 1,000 community health workers trained and deployed to 1,000 primary health care centres.
“In 2010, we had more than a million women attending anti-natal centre (ANC) services in facilities that had midwives posted by the Federal Government and for family planning services from the baseline we had in 2009 from the same facilities up to December 2012 going on.
“We had more than 200 percent increase basically in these facilities for family planning and more than 150 percent in the facilities in term of skilled birth attendance.
“Over three years, we have been going from 789 per 100,000 to 369 per 100,000 in these areas”.
He said there was also an increase in number of service delivery sites, number of skilled human resources, access to life saving commodities and also initiated the conditional cash transfer programme.
He said based on the success recorded on the scheme, the government initiated a programme to save one million lives through enhancing access to basic primary care intervention, improving the quality of care and unlocking the market potential of the private sector.
The minister said the government’s objective was to care and provide access to basic services through strengthening primary health care and providing integrated care.
Susheela Singh, vice president, research, Guttmacher Institute, said there was need for government to properly educate its people on important of modern contraceptive.
Singh said traditional method of contraceptive has the higher failure rate, noting that 222 million women were in need of modern contraceptive.
He said family planning was not to control population growth as people believed but to build a healthy family.
Singh urged government in Africa to increase budget for family planning, adding that donor agencies should also strengthen their role on health issues.