By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The Executive Director, Development Communication Network (DEVCOM), Mr. Akin Jimoh has informed that in every 2 hours, nine or ten pregnant women dies in Nigeria hospitals while an average of four women also lose their lives in every hour.
Mr. Jimoh gave the formation in his goodwill message at the 2017 MediaAfrica Conference with the theme: “MNCH in Nigeria: Progress, Opportunities and Challenges: Role of the Media in Curbing Maternal Death organized by the African Media Development Foundation (AMDF) held in Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria on Tuesday.
He urged journalists across the country to always do a story that will win CNN award and stand them out and get them places that they did not dream of going because people are reading them everywhere.
“Journalists across the country should always do a story that will win them CNN award and stand them out, it is not an issue of asking NGOs to give you money to do something but to ensure that your story earn you money they required and get you places that you did not dream of going because people are reading you everywhere” he added.
Declaring the conference open, the Kaduna State Commissioner, Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba observed that the records from health officials across the world about maternal mortality in Nigeria are alarming, saying if the government will not look at them, then the media will be hold responsibly for not projecting that.
Represented by her Special Assistant, Mallam Muhammad Adam, Hajiya Hafsat Baba commended the Foundation for driven the noble effort aimed at curbing maternal mortality within our societies.
“But l sees our government noticing the good work of the media propagating the message and informing the people in the deep remote part of our community, so we have to commended drivers of the program like NURHI and what others are doing alike”.
“Hajiya Hafsat Baba holds these issues with so much passion and a lot of us should attest to the fact that there is a renewed vibrate in the way the Ministry is being driven today particularly riding upon the opportunity accorded us by the media, we have become media friendly” he said.
Contributing, the State Commissioner, Ministry of Health, Dr. Paul Dogo, while given the overview in maternal health, said the proportion of women that access health care and delivered by skill birth attendant stands at about 35% which is quite low.
Represented by the State Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Human Service in the Ministry, Dr. Dutse Musa Ginba, Dr. Dogo also informed that persons that provide assistant child birth delivery at present include traditional birth attendance which account for the highest with about 24.9%, midwives accounts for 20.5% while doctors account for 14.9%.
The Commissioner said, women that delivery at homes account for 67.5%, 29.2% delivered in public hospitals while 3.3% access the private hospital.
According to him, the women that are not accessing health care by skilled birth delivery due to lack of money for treatment account for 31.4%, 42% were hindered by the distances to health facilities, 28.8% because of cultural and social cultural issues need permission to visit health facilities, 14.6% did not want to go to health facilities alone while 16.5% do not access health care facilities due to the attitude of the health care workers.
Dr. Dogo therefore assured that the intention of the Ministry is to improve on what they have now, saying it is proving fact that access skill birth delivery reduces maternal deaths.
Contributing, the Pathfinder International Nigeria Communication and Media Officer, Ms. Somto Atuanya on Maternal Newborn and Child Health disclosed that its Organization work with local providers and civil society including media, to identify bottlenecks to advocate to the government at the state and national level for effective implementation of policies and strategies that advance child spacing.
She also mentioned that their work focuses on strengthening community and health systems, by improving the capacity of service providers and government ministries to deliver high-quality Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services, while working to ensure that those services are responsive to the needs of, and accessible to, poor and vulnerable populations.
In doing these, Ms. Somto Atuanya said they have recognized the strategic role of the media in effective advocacy and that is why “this New Year, Pathfinder International through its AFP project plans to raise family Planning champions amongst Media Practitioners”.
“Pathfinder International mission is to ensure that people everywhere have the right and opportunity to live healthy sexual and reproductive lives.
“Kaduna state is one of our focal states and we hope to work with some of you here when the time comes as Pathfinder international is pleased to lend its support to AMDF in hosting this great event” she said.