Senate yesterday declared that Nigeria loses about 2, 300 under-five year olds and 145 women of child bearing age on daily basis.
It therefore mandated its Committees on Women Affairs, and Health to liaise with the federal Ministries of Women Affairs, and Health on ways to curb maternal, new born and infant mortality in the country and report back to it.
The resolution was sequel to a motion titled, “Alarming Maternal and Infant Mortality Rate in Nigeria”, sponsored by Ahmed Ogembe (APC, Kogi Central), who lamented that “Nigeria is the second largest contributor to the under-five and maternal mortality rate in the world.”
Ogembe, who added that “research have shown that the essential interventions reaching women and babies on time is capable of averting most of these deaths”, noted that preventable or treatable infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and HIV/AIDS account for more than 70 per cent of the death.
The lawmaker maintained that “malnutrition is the underlying cause of morbidity and mortality of a large proportion of pregnant women, newborn and children under five in Nigeria”.
He recalled that less than 20 per cent of health facilities in the country offer emergency obstetric care and that only 30 per cent deliveries were attended by skilled birth attendants.
The lawmaker, however, observed that the integrated maternal, newborn and child health, IMNCH strategy was established by the federal ministry of health to revitalise primary healthcare in every local government and considerably extend coverage of key maternal and child health interventions, have contributed very little to reduce the maternal, newborn and infant mortality in the country.
In his contribution, Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North) called for the reestablishment of sanitary inspectors in to study foods and environment living by Nigerians with a view to reduce or curbing diseases in the country.
In his remarks, the deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary, described maternal and infant mortality as very bad, saying “God mandated us to multiply on earth and we allow the situation to continue, we will not have increase in our population”.