Holistic reproductive health assistance for pregnant women

Since the 1990s, maternal mortality has declined globally. However, pregnancy period continually poses great risk for millions of Nigerian women because of education, unhealthy cultural practices, inaccessibility to healthcare and skilled health workers. Other factors entail socio-economic status, geo-political zone and urban / rural residency.

Maternal mortality as defined by the World Health Organization is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accident or incidental issues.

As the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) drive global development. More studies, urgent policies and proper implementations have to be done in respect to maternal health in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, Nigeria is said to be the highest contributor to maternal mortality in Central and Western Africa and contributes 14% to the global maternal mortality rate. According to UNICEF, a woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy and childbirth in Nigeria is 1 in 13. And in 2015, mortality ratio for Nigeria was 814 deaths per 100,000 live births. A cumulative report by UNICEF, WHO, United Nation Population, UNFPA and World Bank revealed a staggering increase in maternal deaths in Nigeria between 2011 (5,000) and 2015 (58,000). All these demonstrate that there should be systemic health care system that caters for about 9.2 million Nigerian women and girls that become pregnant annually.

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