Maternal, infant mortality: FG declares emergency on public health

A doctor attends to a malnourished child at a refugee camp in Yola, Nigeria Sunday, May 3, 2015, after being rescued from captivity by Boko Haram fighters. Their faces were gaunt with signs of malnutrition but the girls are alive and free, among a group of 275 children and women rescued by the Nigerian military, and the first to arrive at a refugee camp Saturday after a three-day journey to safety. They came from the Sambisa Forest, thought to be the last stronghold of the Islamic extremists, where the Nigerian military said it has rescued more than 677 girls and women and destroyed more than a dozen insurgent camps in the past week. ( AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has declared a state of public health concern on maternal newborn and child death occurring at the primary health centres.

Similar declaration is expected in states in the next few days to track maternal and child mortality.

Nigeria has one of the worst records in maternal and child mortality in the world. It is recorded that in Nigeria approximately 145 women under the age of 15-45 die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, while 2,300 children under-five years die mainly from preventable causes.

Consequently, the agency said it would establish a national coordination centre within the agency to provide oversight on the outlined activities.

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The centre, according to the executive director of the agency, Dr. Fasal Shuaib, shall be called the National Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (NEMCHIC).

Already, the country has received support worth $1.31 million which is to be matched by the government $1.97 million for the next ten years; this fund is to support the country’s immunisation programme as part of the effort to reduce maternal and child mortality in Nigeria.

The states also assured of their buy-in to ensure that the initiative achieves its purpose.

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