Awka — The increasing rate in maternal mortality in the South East geo-political zone of Nigeria is a thing of worry that urgent measures have to be taken to check, President General of the Umuada Igbo Nigeria in Diaspora, Mrs. Lolo Kate Ezeofor, has said.
She raised the alarm over the scourge at a public sensitization meeting at Ekwulobia in Aguata council headquarters of Anambra State yesterday organized by her association in collaboration with IPAS, an international organization that promotes female health and reproductive rights.
Mrs. Ezeofor gave the present maternal mortality rate in the zone as 1000 per 100,000 births.
In her address read by Mrs. Chiekwe Ezeofor, the Umuada Igbo leader, urged families to practice family-planning and space their child-bearing towards having better, happy families, healthy and brilliant children and decried rape and other forms of female defilement, illegal abortion undertaken by quack patent medicine vendors.
"In every six minutes, a woman dies needlessly as a result of unsafe illegal abortion, obstructed labour or haemorrhage. Studies have shown that there are 34,000 abortion- related deaths in Nigeria annually.
For every woman that dies, 20 others were being maimed for life and when a mother dies, the mortality rate of the under-fives rises very sharply. The Nigerian law permits that where there is danger of losing a mother, safe abortion can be done by qualified doctors", she said.