October 1, 2022

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‘Anambra records 20 pregnancy-related deaths in six months’

No fewer than 20 women have died in pregnancy-related complications in Anambra State from January to June, 2022.

This was revealed by a consultant community physician at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, Dr Chinomnso Nnebu.

Nnebu made the disclosure at a maternal mortality review meeting in Awka, on Tuesday.

This is just as she also advised women to stop patronising prayer houses for antenatal care.

She decried the increasing rate at which pregnant women in the state prefer visiting faith-based organisations, rather than hospitals for the delivery of their babies.

This practice, she said, is attributed to the causes of maternal mortality in the state.

She said, “Some faith-based organisations will keep pregnant women and be praying for them instead of advising them to go to the hospital. Faith works but faith without work is dead.

“We need to educate pregnant women to stop giving birth in prayer houses because they cannot manage pregnancy complications.”

On her part, the state’s Reproductive Health Coordinator, Dr Obianuju Okoye, also said the state had recorded 20 maternal deaths from nine healthcare facilities across the state between January and June 2022.

Okoye said the state had established an electronic platform where hospitals could record data on maternal deaths.

“From the reports on our e-platform, the state recorded 20 deaths from nine hospitals between January to June, 2022, mostly from hard to reach areas.

“This review meeting will help the state government to know where the problems are coming from and how to collectively address them,” Okoye added.

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Also contributing, the Head of Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, NAUTH, Dr George Eleje, urged pregnant women to register early for antenatal care to prevent complications and maternal deaths.

According to him, antenatal care would make pregnancy safe and help the woman prepared for an uneventful labour and also for a good pregnancy outcome.

In his remarks, the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, said the meeting was designed to review causes of maternal deaths in the state and proffer solutions to put an end to the trend.

Obidike described maternal mortality or pregnancy-related death as the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of pregnancy.

He noted that the state government was adopting a holistic approach to end maternal mortality in the state, in partnership with the private healthcare sector which offered 70 per cent of health services.

He said, “There are cases where a pregnant woman will go to primary healthcare centres and when things become difficult, there is no where else to go. Hence we are working on strengthening the referral system too.

“If we put things right, we are ensuring the safety of the next woman that will deliver. Gradually we will reduce maternal mortality rate as much as possible in the state.”