According to a recent United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) publication, every 10 minutes, one Nigerian woman dies on account of pregnancy or childbirth, giving a total of 53,000 per year.The released data shows that the North East and North West regions alone possess a combined rate of 2575 deaths/100,000 live births. In stark contrast, the South East and South West record about 451 deaths/ 100,000 live births. This means Northern Nigeria alone accounts for over 70% of National Maternal Mortality Rates.
A recent survey released by the National Bureau of Statistics paints a very vivid picture. Areas such as Sokoto which records as high as 63.9% no antenatal care visits by their pregnant women, Yobe which records 57.4% and Niger which records 49.1% are beset by skyrocketing maternal mortality rates. In sharp contrast, a state like Anambra in the South East with as low as 1.3% no antenatal care visits by their pregnant women, records the fewest number of maternal mortality rates in the nation.
These alarming numbers are archetypal of a root-deep societal challenge that is detrimental to national development. Some identified causatives of this morbid challenge include polygamy practices, lack of child spacing, culture and archaic beliefs. However, as seen from the embedded data, lack of appropriate antenatal care during pregnancy poses an even more fatal and likely causative.
Government organizations, federal health agencies, and individuals must generate initiatives to encourage pregnant women within the nation to attend approved hospitals, testing centres, and health centers to ensure proper antenatal care and safety for both mother and child.
|S/N||State||Percent distribution of women who had no antenatal care visits|
Source: National Bureau of Statistics