The Federal Government has established the National Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (NEMCHIC) to address public health concern on maternal, newborn and child deaths across the country.
The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this while presenting the agency’s strategic approach towards rapid reduction of maternal, newborn and infant motility at PHC.
He said the strategic approach was in line with the national strategic and health plan 2018-2022, adding that the centre was established to reverse the trend.
Shuaib said the centre would work with the National Polio Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) and transit polio resources towards Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) interventions.
The executive director said the centre would improve awareness and promote community involvement in interventions to reduce maternal and child mortality.
He added it would also increase data visibility and quality aside improving detection and responsiveness in the resolution of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) service gap.
He added that there would also be a seamless transition in the states where EOC exist, stressing that where the centre didn’t exist the agency will work with state Primary Health Care Board to establish state SEMCHIC.
“We commit to urgently take action to provide leadership to rapidly reverse maternal, newborn and child deaths by half by 2021 through interventions that target the PHC and community levels.
“This is based on the evidence that a minimum target of 53 per cent in maternal mortality rate every five years is required to reach SDG 2030 target of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births.
“A minimum target of 44 per cent reduction in under five mortality rate every five years required to reach the SDG 2030 target of less than 25 under five mortality rate,” he said.
The executive director noted that the agency would collaborate with traditional and religious leaders as well as development partners to energise efforts reverse the negative indices on maternal, newborn and child mortality in Nigeria.
Shuaib lamented that nearly 145 women die every day in Nigeria from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, adding that approximately, 2,300 children under the age of five die from preventable causes.
He said one out of 10 children less than five years that dies in the world is a Nigerian while one out of eight Nigerian children dies before their fifth birthday.
Alhaji Samaila Mera, the Emir of Argungu and Deputy Chairman, Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Polio and Primary Health Care, said the statistics were alarming and heartbreaking.
He said the northern traditional leaders would sensitise the people to patronise facilities provided by the government and convince husbands to allow their wives to go for antenatal services and deliver at the hospitals.
“We are involved in the surveillance of maternal and neonatal deaths; in this regards we are working with closely with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other partners.
“We are working with traditional birth attendants on the strategy to stop bleeding after birth which is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality,” he said.