Benjamin Olusanmi Bolaji, a Professor of Anaesthetics at the University of Ilorin, has called for partnership with international organisations for provision of resources needed to practically launch the crusade against the rising spate of maternal mortality in the Nigeria.
Bolaji, who attributed the ugly trend to hemorrhage during childbirth, stated this on the sidelines of the ninth scientific conference of the Society of Obstetric Anaesthetists of Nigeria (SOAN) in association with Nigeria Society of Anaesthetists (NSA), which began in Ilorin Thursday.
The medical expert lamented lack of equipment and other facilities in public health institutions, as he noted that many specialists in medical profession are leaving the country for greener pastures.
Bolaji, who is also a Consultant with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, observed that more of the professionals in the health sector would have to be recruited to help in the efforts at reducing maternal mortality.
“The leading cause of maternal mortality, specifically, is hemorrhage; pregnant women bleeding during delivery. One other cause is infection. If we are going to tackle the issue of maternal mortality, we need multidisciplinary approach; the nurses, obstetricians, anaesthetists and medical laboratory scientists will be involved.
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“We need to collaborate and when we are collaborating, we even need international partners because of the resources they can give us. We also need to involve the community and promoters that can give us access to the communities. Of course, education and advocacy is important.
“There should be free access to specialist based services. Those are the areas we need to look into if we are going to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria. We saw in presentation, maternal mortality is unevenly distributed in the country. It is highest when you move up to North, especially North West. In the South East and South West, it is low”, he said.
The Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the conference, Majeed Babajide Adegboye, said maternal mortality and morbidity were prevalent within the circle of women of productive age and had contributed to poor health indices in a country like Nigeria.
He noted that anaesthetists have crucial roles to play in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, especially during childbirth.
Adegboye said, “As we are aware, maternal morbidity and mortality are common among women of productive age in our environment. They both contribute significantly to poor health indices in developing countries.
“Given the unique experience of anaesthetists in resuscitation, peri-operative and critical care of patients, anaesthetists have crucial roles to play in reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, especially during childbirth.
“Hence, anaesthetists are regarded as very important specialists in the quest to achieve safe surgery and safe motherhood programme by the WHO, which makes maternal safety the centrepiece of this initiative.”