14 June 2012

Nigeria: 'Don't Reject Women Who Deliver At Home'

The FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, Abuja on Wednesday directed health centres and hospitals in the FCT not to reject women, who delivered their babies at home before getting to the hospital.

The Executive Secretary of the Board, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, said such practice would increase maternal mortality.

Mohammed said that there were many factors that could delay a pregnant woman from getting to a hospital to deliver, adding that some of the factors could be lack of transportation, and quick labour.

He, however, warned women, who were in the habit of attending ante-natal, but preferred to give birth at home to desist from such, as it was safe to deliver in a hospital or health centre.

He also advised expectant mothers to endeavour to go to the nearest health facility to deliver their babies, stressing that giving birth at home was risky for the baby and mother.

Mohammed said that some women, who deliver at home, go to health facilities when they experience complications, such as bleeding or when the placenta did not come out.

"We do not know the reason for a woman delivering at home, sometimes there are so many social factors, which we may not know, and some might be security or medical reasons.

"Especially now with the security check, a woman can give birth in a car, however, it is unfortunate that some women attend ante-natal but prefer to give birth at home," he said.

Mohammed advised health workers to be kind to patients, and said that patients were clients and needed to be given the services they needed.

Speaking on the same issue, the FCT Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Nicholas Baamlong, said no hospital should reject a woman who needed medical attention.

He explained that every woman, who needed medical attention must be attended to except in a situation where she could not be attended to due to some special reasons.

Baamlong said that the reason why doctors referred a woman who gave birth at home before coming to the health care centre to another facility could be due to the lack of the equipment to handle her situation.

He said that some hospitals might not have the specialist to attend to the woman who came to the hospital with complications.

He said that in such a situation it was better to refer her to another clinic, where she could be properly attended to.


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