By Joy Odor
Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar, representing Kwara North Senatorial District has lamented on the need for Nigeria to have unified data for the surveillance of maternal death to track causes of the death and subsequently it’s prevention.
Senator Umar, who seconded the bill for an Act to Provide for Effective Surveillance, Review and Prevention of Maternal and Perinatal Deaths and Related Matters for the Federal Republic if Nigeria, 2020 (SB, 581), sponsored by Senator Oloiegbe Yahaya Ibrahim, Kwara Central passed second reading on the floor of the Senate during the plenary on Thursday in Abuja,
While contributing to the bill, the Senatorr was of the opinion that adopting the Maternal and Perinatal Deaths Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) proces which is a veritable process of identifying both direct and indirect causal factors of the deaths, will enhance the efforts at preventing further deaths and provide more credible data.
According to him, in Nigeria, over 85% of maternal death are from impoverished communities in Africa, adding that the effect of a mother’s death results in untold effects in the family, community and the nation.
The Lawmaker stressed that the bill is proposed to eliminates preventable maternal and perinatal deaths in Nigeria, noting that the objective of the bill include to notify and collect accurate data on all maternal and perinatal deaths in the country.
“To analyze and interpret data collected, to use the data to make evidence base recommendations for action to decrease maternal and perinatal mortality, to determinate findings and recommendations to decision makers, policy makers civil society and health personnel, to increase awareness about the magnitude, social effects and preventability of maternal and perinatal mortality among others.
“To be able to deal with this, we need to approach it scientifically and logically by having a verifiable data that can be used for effective planning, effective use of resources to analyze the data to guide on what programming and policies that will help in curbing the maternal and Perinatal death.
“For this, we think that there is a need for a bill that is specifically target to achieving the use of data to make evidence based recommendations for action to decrease maternal and perinatal mortality.
“The passage and proper funding of this bill will ensure a framework that will guide data collection, analysis and where the data should be domicile to give access to all healthcare workers, policy makers and international development partners involved in the health sector of the country.
“Maternal death is defined by the World Health Organizations (WHO) as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days if termination of the pregnancy irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or it’s management but not firm accidental or incidental causes.
“These causes range from severe bleeding to instructed labour for which there are highly effective interventions. As women have gained access to effective and quality antenatal care and skilled birth attendant with backup emergency obstetrics care, the global maternal mortality radio has fallen from 385 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 216 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015 and many countries halved their maternal death rates in the last 10 years sadly in Nigeria the rate of maternal death is still very high” Sen. Umar noted
Senator Umar said maternal and perinatal deaths surveillance and response processes is a form of continuous surveillance that links the health information system and quality improvement processes from local to national levels, saying the bill is relevant and should be supported by all.