Why Government Must Make Women Health Priority | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why Government Must Make Women Health Priority

Posted: May 2, 2015 at 7:35 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The bedrock of any nation’s healthcare is the development of its maternal and child’s health and in the words of former commissioner for health Lagos State, Dr Leke pitan, “maternal health deals with ensuring safe motherhood for all women including care for females starting from their conception through various stages of growth and development with special emphasis to women of childbearing age”.

Dr Leke pitan

Dr Leke pitan

Dr Pitan was the guest speaker at the annual lecture on public health management and induction of new members into the Chartered Institute of Environmental and Public Health management of Nigeria.

Speaking on the theme ‘investing in reduced maternal and child mortality for sustainable national development:issues, challenges and options’, Pitan noted, “According to the World Bank, the maternal mortality rate of Nigeria is 630 death out of every 100, 000 while infant deaths is 74.09 out of every 1, 000” saying, “This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country; with the values that we have in Nigeria, it isn’t painting a good picture and it is not far from the truth as it makes the country the second largest contributor to the world under-five and maternal mortality rate in the world”.

The former commissioner submitted, “it is integral to invest in reducing infant and maternal mortality not only to promote sustainable development but to save millions of lives”.

He listed some of the constraints to Nigeria meeting the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 to include: limited resources focus on curative rather than preventive health and limited access to healthcare in some parts of the country.

He said, “the incoming administration would have to be determined to invest many low cost but high impact interventions which are being utilized successfully in countries with similar populations such as ours that we can benefit tremendously from; and we also need to look for viable alternatives to achieve the desired health outcomes that we are looking for”.

According to Pitan, “We need to focus on achievable interventions such as training various cadres of healthcare team to meet the human resource demand especially, the Traditional Birth ‘attendants (TBAs and register religious institutions to make them accountable in managing pregnancies and deliveries with better outcomes”.

Pitan concluded by saying, “Sustainable National Developmen doesn’t occur only by focusing on reduction of maternal and infant mortality, but by expanding our focus and our resources to encompass various interrelated and integral sectors of our nation. The new dispensation is a good time to start”.

In his opening address, director general of the institute, George Ayoade noted the institute champions the cause of environmental and public health management in Nigeria  and across Africa providing  professionals with the exclusive support to further their career and setting the agenda by which all environmental and public health practitioners should be measured”.

The occasion witnessed the induction of new Fellows, Associates and members including Dr. Leke Pitan who was indicted a fellow of the institute.