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Why Nigeria Records High Maternal Deaths -Prof. Nte

Professor of pediatrics and child health at the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Alice Nte has decried the high maternal mortality among pregnant mothers in Nigeria.

Prof. Nte who spoke to The Vortex on the sidelines of the workshop organized by The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board in Port Harcourt, stated that Nigeria which he said contributes less than 10% of the world population, accounts for over 10% of yearly maternal deaths and 10% of deaths of children below 5years globally.

According to the professor, who is also a director of research management and consultant pediatrician at the university teaching hospital, many women were dying in the course of child delivery because of their apathy to patronize skilled birth attendants and delivery in hospitals.

She said most women rather than go to government hospitals and other health centres approved b the government choose to patronize traditional and untrained birth attendants which in most cases lead to complications.

Prof. Nte emphasized that women were expected to visit hospitals at least four times in the course of pregnancy where they can be properly checked by professional medical personnel adding that 15% of pregnant mothers suffer from complications and need help.

The medical consultant advised women with problems such as fibroid, High Blood pressure, multiple pregnancy problems, women delivering for the first time, especially those less than 18years, premature pregnancy and pregnant women above 35years to seek the assistance of specialists and skill attendants in hospitals where they can be helped to safety deliver their babies.

Nte who described safe delivery as a woman’s ability to deliver a baby virginally without complications however said many women who may have had the experience of delivery could equally develop crises in one way or the other during delivery.

She said many women only resort to hospitals after they might have gone to various places, stressing that such delay leads to death of either the mother or the child due to rupture of the womb.

The university don listed the challenges of insecurity in the communities, poor health facilities, attitude of health care giver, poverty and inadequate facilities as some of the reasons why pregnant women shun patronage of hospitals and health centres.

She appealed to traditional rulers and community leaders to provide protection and security for the health personal post to their areas and also guard the facilities put in place by the government.

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