Sunday, 1 December 2019

Nig leads in global maternal, newborn mortality —Prof Mabel Ekott, SOGON partners religious leaders

Prof Mabel Ikpeme Ekott, Cross River Coordinator of the Society of Gynaecologist and Obstetrics of Nigeria 
1 December 2019

CALABAR —Nigeria has been identified as the world leader in maternal mortality and newborn death according to a recent research NEGROIDHAVEN can say authoritatively.

Professor Mabel Ikpeme Ekott a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital UCTH disclosed that recent survey suggests that '800 women die daily, implying that 47, 000 women die from avoidable birth related complications in the country.' The medical practitioner noted that the figure was staggering. 

Prof Ekott who also doubles as the Cross River Coordinator of the Society of Gynaecologist and Obstetrics of Nigeria gave this insight during a one day workshop tagged Partnership for Improved Maternal and Newborn Care in Calabar, the state capital which on Wednesday.

She said that the major reasons why some pregnant women do not patronise well established medical institutions are ignorance, myth and the refusal to take responsibility for their health. 

Explaining earlier on the reasons for maternal and newborn mortality she said "The number one reason is ignorance. If you know the benefits of going to the hospital you will go to the hospital, myth... 'If you go to the hospital to deliver, they will give you a cut. They are going to give you hot drip... There is this unwillingness to pay for service and believe me it is poverty... And then hearing stories, you've not experienced this so called rudeness by hospital staff. Nobody takes a child to a school and is not ready to register that child in school, but people are not ready to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing'. 

Partnership with religious institutions in the state 

She said her organisation is partnering with the religious institution in the state to address the issues of newborn and maternal mortality considering the degree of influence of religious leaders, she noted that her organisation's intention is to acquaint the religious leaders with the available data in anticipation of how to confront the challenge.

According to her, 'We are all aware of the high maternal mortality and newborn deaths that occur in the world with Nigeria leading. This has been of utmost importance to us. We know that most of these deaths could be prevented if the women could go to the hospital and receive treatment from trained medical personnel. 

'We also know that religious leaders have a lot of influence on the congregation. Almost 80% of us go to church. We listen to what the pastor say, we listen to their advice and wise counsel. 

'We felt it wise to bring the church leaders together from different churches in Calabar. And present the data to them: Tell them about the care a pregnant woman should receive, tell them about the care a newborn baby should receive, tell them about why women loose their lives and the lives of their babies and ways to prevent them. 

'We want to collaborate with them, we want to forge a partnership that they check every pregnant woman in their congregation, they monitor and ensure the woman goes to the hospital, that she delivers safely, that the baby is well cared for. 

'We are bringing them here so that they know the type of complications that could arise in the pregnant women and also in the newborn, and get these women to be hospital where they could get care. That is the reason for this workshop', she continued. 

The event had in attendance church leaders including women. 

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