No fewer than 262 expectant mothers out of 100,000 pregnant women in Oyo State die as a result of complications and other pregnant related issues, a report obtained by DAILY POST has shown.
In the report, released by Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) and Development Communications (DEVCOMS) Network, only six local government areas: Atiba, Ibadan North East, Ibadan South East, Iseyin, Ogbomoso North and Saki East are currently enjoining the State Health Insurance Scheme under-5/ MDG fund initiative.
The report showed that one of the major factors responsible for the deaths of about 262 mothers out of 100,000 expectant mothers in the state is the “weak implementation of the family planning/child spacing programmes at the state and local government levels is largely due to inadequate funds as there is no specific budget line for the programmes”.
It puts the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate in the state at 37.4%, Unmet needs for Family Planning (FP) at 13.2%, Infant Mortality Rate at 69/1000, HIV/AIDS Prevalence Rate at 3%, Maternal Mortality Ratio at 262/100,000 live births and Total Fertility Rate at 4.5.
The report also put the total population of women of reproductive age group (15-49) in the state at 1, 633,333.
Findings by DAILY POST revealed that as at September 2016, only 22 doctors are being rationed among the 33 local government areas in the state. The figure is said to have reduced as findings also revealed that some doctors who have retired from some Local Government Areas in the state are yet to be replaced. This is because the state government is yet to lift embargo it placed on employment, especially in the Health sector.
Investigations by our correspondent also confirmed that while some Local Government Areas, especially in Ibadan City, have a doctor, others in other geo-political zones such as Oke-Ogun, Ogbomoso do not have a doctor. It was learnt that as at the last count, Ibadan North, Ibadan South East and Ibadan South West have a doctor each,their counterparts in Oke-Ogun and Ogbomoso zones such as Kajola do not have a doctor.
Shortage of medical personnel, especially doctors in the state is said to be greatly responsible for the mess, compared to other states in the South West region of Ondo and Lagos where a local government have between two to four medical doctors.
NURHI and DEVCOMS in the report, however, advised the state that for it to clear the mess, it must develop effective policies on family planning. The report stated that those policies were critical in achieving the sustainable development goals that seek to improve maternal health and survival (SDGs 1 to 5).
The report lamented that, “in Oyo state, about 262 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births occur annually. These maternal deaths are unnecessary and preventable with the use of reliable and appropriate interventions, including modern family planning and child spacing services.
“Access to standard FP/CBS can avert high risk pregnancies, reduce morbidity and consequently reduce maternal death by about 40%. Family Planning (FP)/Childbirth Spacing (CBS) is critical to improving maternal health, therefore it is pivotal to all maternal and child health interventions”.
Other factors responsible for the mess according to the report is the non-passage of the Reproductive health bill by the state legislature.
“The state government developed and submitted to the state house of assembly A reproductive Health (RB), Bill to support maternal and child health. This bill is yet to be passed into law. The delay in passing the bill compromises the recognition of FP/CBS as a pivotal component of maternal heath interventions.
“This further aggravates the problems caused by lack of FP/CBS specific budget line and the unsustainable released of funds for capacity building, supportive supervision, monitoring demand creation, procurement of consumable and other logistics”, it said.
The report then advised that “Appropriating more funds in the state health budget for FP/CBS interventions will scale up the quality of FP/CBS programmes and services.
“Enacting and supporting enabling laws to back effective FP/CBS programmes is required for the state to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly goals 1 to 5”.
To reduce the rates of maternal and mortality in the state, the two organizations in the report advised community leaders to “make public statements in support of FP/CBS. Mainstream FP/CBS in social and religious talks.
“Support community health campaigns to ensure community members have access to information and education, health and development services.
“Engage legislators to enact laws for the provision of free comprehensive maternal and child health services.
“Advocate for the staffing, funding and equipping of family planning clinics at all primary healthcare facilities.
“Encourage community members to utilize FP/CBS to reduce maternal mortality and improve the health of mothers and babies.”
However, all efforts by DAILY POST to get reactions from the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abdulazeez Adeduntan to comment on the report proved abortive.
Calls put through to the Commissioner’s telephone on Friday were not answered.
A text message sent to him by our correspondent to respond to the figures and the report has not been replied since Friday morning.
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