The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said a new global maternal mortality report showed that 82,000 women in Nigeria die from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications every year.
The UNICEF Nigeria Chief of Health, Eduardo Celades stated this Friday in Lagos during a media dialogue on COVID-19 and routine immunisation organised by UNICEF Nigeria Office, in collaboration with the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
The report, titled ‘Trends in maternal mortality 2000 to 2020’ was done by the United Nations Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter Agency Group (MMEIG) – comprising WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (UNDESA/Population Division), and covers the period 2000-2020.
Celades said this translated to 225 deaths from maternal mortality every day, adding that it showed that the number of women dying from pregnancy-related causes was very high.
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He said the way out involved a three-prong approach, which involves increasing effective investments in primary health care at the state level, as well as the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
He said the second one was to expand the National Health Insurance Scheme, saying it is a powerful tool to achieve Universal Health Coverage ( UHC ) and reduce maternal mortality.
The UNICEF Nigeria Chief of Health said the third one was to target the most vulnerable, including women who don’t have access in hard-to-reach areas.
He said Nigeria had the second highest number of zero-dose children in the world and called for the prioritisation of routine immunisation in order to protect Nigerian children from vaccine-preventable diseases.