23 November 2012

Nigeria: 'Why Maternal Mortality Rate Is High'

Kaduna — Minister of State for Health, Muhammad Ali Pate, has identified cost of healthcare as one of the factors hindering Nigeria's progress in curbing the menace of maternal mortality. Chief Medical Director of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika, Zaria, Dr. Lawal Khalid, who spoke to our correspondent, said the minister said this in a paper he presented at an event to mark ABU at 50.

According to him, Dr. Pate in the paper said despite recent progress in population health, there is still the urgent need to accelerate progress in improvement of the country's health outcome.

"While under-five child mortality rate has been reducing at an annualized rate of 4.8 per cent in recent years, we need to achieve at least 9 per cent annual reduction in order to achieve the target of under-five mortality rate. Unfortunately, Nigeria still accounts for a disproportionate share of the world's burden of child and maternal morbidity and mortality.

More broadly, it is estimated that approximately, one million women and children die every year in Nigeria from largely preventable causes. Diseases like polio, malaria, measles, bacterial meningitis, malnutrition, among others, account for most of the childhood deaths in Nigeria," the minister said.

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