Over 1,000 Kwara state health workers including medical doctors, nurses and community health practitioners have benefitted from the Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care (EMONC) training organised by Johnson and Johnson (JnJ), the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and the Wellbeing foundation Africa (WBFA).
Speaking at the training programme aimed at improving availability and quality of maternal and newborn care in Kwara state, the senior technical officer, maternal and newborn health of the LSTM, Dr. Hauwa Mohammed, said that the maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria is still high.
According to her, the statistics of maternal mortality rate in the country is not good. The statistics are the same.
“Women still die in the community. Women that attended antenatal care are very high but when it come to delivery only few, less than 10 per cent that attended antenatal care come out to deliver. This means that they are delivering somewhere else. The maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria is still high and we have a lot of work to do,” she said.
On factors responsible for low turn out of women in delivery, Dr. Mohammed said that there are many factors for the low turn out, adding that the organization had introduced respectful maternity care concept.
“You know if a woman delivers with a traditional birth attendant, her mother will come in, she will be there robbing her back, her husband will be allowed into that small place. But with respectful maternity care concept, people know you cannot allow companion during a labour but she can assume any position she want to deliver.
“With traditional birth attendant you can deliver squatting down, you can sit down you can stand up you can do whatever you want and that is part of respectful mortality care as long as there is no complication, the woman has no problem. I’m sure with that it will improve”, she said.
Also speaking, the programme director of Wellbeing Foundation, Dr. Otun Adewole, noted that when health workers that are managing mothers and baby are well trained and given the required skills they are likely to deliver better.
“The first time we had such opportunities in Nigeria was inn2015 it was facilitated by Mrs. Toyin Saraki.
“The programme we are doing today is just like a round off of the programmes that have been on for over five years.
“The programme has recorded 38 per cent reduction in maternal death and pregnancy related issues.
“We have also trained close to 1,000 health workers across doctors, nurses community health workers.
“The ripple effect of it is that they would go back to their facilities and train more people on this.
“The programme has also donated 10 skills labs for hospital in Kwara state whereby hospital management board can also work on that in training and retraining new recruit and other staff that have not been trained
“Other Ministry of health should key into the training and train their health workers. As a result of brain drain, we don’t have enough doctors, nurses are going enmasse.
“When you train the little ones, you are rest assured that the little people on ground will be well equipped and they would know what to do at the right time.
“Government should key into it, make use of the materials given to them and invest more in training their health workers as it will go a long way to help”, he said.
In his address, the permanent secretary, ministry of Health, Dr. Abubakar Ayinla, noted that the training has brought development to health system in the state.
Speaking on behalf of beneficiaries of the training programme, Dr. Akorede Kamil, from General Hospital, Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area, expressed delight on the programme, saying that participants would key into the training programme and train others.