Maternal, child mortality: Community health practitioners urge legislative framework to curb scourge

Acting National Chairman of National Association of Community Health Practitioners of Nigeria, Alhaji Yakubu Abdullahi, has called for a sound legislative framework to reduce maternal and child mortality and achieve solid healthcare delivery.

Yakubu, who said there was still an existing gap in Nigeria health care delivery, urged the three tiers of governments to take the issue of community health seriously to cover the gaps and work towards attaining the health target of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Addressing a four-day ‘National workshop on Maternal Mortality Burden in Nigeria, the Need for Paradigm Shift Towards Community Focused Approach to Maternal Healthcare’, organised by the association on Wednesday in Kaduna, he commended governments of Kaduna and Adamawa states for recruiting a reasonable number of health workers to improve healthcare in their respective states.

Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Primary Health Care, Hon. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, expressed worry that despite the manpower development in the sector, maternal mortality in Nigeria remained high. He lamented refusal by practitioners to be posted to rural communities, thereby giving room for quacks.

Hon. Yusuf noted that unless the practitioners accepted to serve in rural communities, the health delivery would continue to suffer. He however appealed to the healthcare practitioners to see themselves as the hub in the country’s healthcare delivery system.

Kaduna state Chairman of the Association, Comrade Ibrahim Lawal Suleiman, in his welcome address, gave kudos to the Kaduna state government for its transformation agenda in the health sector, especially being the first to adopt full implementation of bringing Primary Health Care under one roof initiative.

He said the government had upgraded and equipped at least, one primary health care centre in each of 255 wards to satisfy the health care needs of the people at the grassroots, noting that the government had brought hope to the hopeless and smiles to the community dwellers.

He acknowledged the improvement on human resources development but appealed to the government to recruit more community health workers to bridge the existing gap to further reduce maternal mortality rate in the state.

The event, whose participants were drawn from across the country to brainstorm on the need and ways to improve and promote infant and maternal health in the country, is expected to feature a presentation of awards to the few that have made their marks and contributed immensely to the development of healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

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