FG approves N25bn for 8,800 facilities to reduce maternal mortality 

The federal government Monday said it has approved N25 billion for 8,800 facilities through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), and National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA) to reduce maternal mortality, and newborn deaths across the country.

Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, made this known at a press briefing to commemorate the 2024 Safe Motherhood Day, with the theme “Investing in Maternal Health for a Sustainable Future,” held in Abuja.

He pointed out that safe motherhood could be achieved when a pregnant woman receives all pillars of care during and after pregnancy, such as antenatal care, skilled and facility-based delivery, quality services as well as postnatal care, family planning, postpartum family planning and post-abortion family planning. 

Prof. Pate called on all stakeholders, development partners, religious and traditional leaders, and the media to educate the general public in order to achieve the desired objective.

“We have to ensure that all women in Nigeria have access to quality maternal care, irrespective of where you come from, whether they’re from rural areas or not, whether they’re educated or not so that we don’t leave any woman behind,” he stated.

The minister noted that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has consistently prioritised Nigerian citizens in his administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda, adding that health is a key part of the Agenda, recalling that he unveiled the Health Sector Renewal Investment Initiative in December with a compact between the 36 state governors, development partners and the federal government to ensure improved population health outcomes in a sector-wide manner.

Prof Pate further mentioned that the government aims to reach at least 7 million pregnant women through those services over time per year and at least 6 million newborn births on an annual basis. “That is an aspiration, we are not there yet but it is what we should be aiming for, so that no woman is left behind when it comes to access to quality maternal care, access to skilled birth attendants, facility birth delivery and non-communicable diseases screening, like hypertension, diabetes in pregnancy and family planning and to ensure affordability to the vulnerable group fund as the NHIA provides cover to reduce access to care for women.”

In her welcome address,  permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Daju Kachollom, identified the three worst maternal health complications which contribute to 55 per cent of cases of maternal mortality in Nigeria as postpartum haemorrhage, preeclampsia/eclampsia and unsafe abortion,  adding that it requires a concerted and collective effort by the pregnant woman herself, her immediate and extended family members, community and health personnel at primary, secondary and tertiary levels to ensure the safety of a pregnant woman and her child during pregnancy, delivery and after delivery.