No fewer than 1,118 pregnant mothers out of 100,000 die annually in Benue state as a result of complications arising from childbirth. The Executive Director of MoreHealth Africa, Dr. Idara Umoette made this known Friday while presenting 100 units of maternal delivery kits to the Wife of the Benue State Governor, Dr. Eunice Ortom in Makurdi.
According to Dr. Umoette, “maternal mortality is defined by the WHO as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of its termination irrespective of the duration and site of pregnancy from any cause and related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.
“And as in 2017, the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, in a report stated that the global maternal mortality rate is equivalent to ‘about one woman every two minutes and for every woman who dies, 20 or 30 encounter complications with serious or lasting consequences. Most of the deaths and injuries are entirely preventable.’ Continuing, she stated that “over 85 percent of maternal deaths are from impoverished communities in Africa and Asia where socioeconomic and cultural reasons play a huge role.
“And a mother’s death results in vulnerable families. Their infants, should they survive, are more likely to die before reaching their second birthday. The commonest causes are post-partum bleeding, hypertensive disorders, obstructed labor. The indirect causes include malaria and anemia. But all these causes are preventable.” Dr. Umoette regretted that the situation in Benue state was being underreported “but about 1,118 deaths out of 100,000 live births are said to occur in Benue from the reported cases.”
She said it was in the quest to drive down the figure that MoreHealth Africa was making the donation and also going into bigger partnership with Mrs. Ortom and her pet project, the Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, ESLF. “MoreHealth Africa identified Mrs. Ortom as a staunch advocate for improved maternal and child health and it is to that end that we support her cause with 100 units of delivery kits.
“These kits contain all the items necessary to ensure hygienic and sanitary normal-route delivery. Amongst other things, it contains items to monitor the volume of blood loss in order for the intervention to be quickly instituted should the volume be high; it also contains Omphacut to hygienically take care of the cord without putting the child at risk of contracting neonatal tetanus and/or sepsis,” she added.
Receiving the items, Mrs. Ortom who commended the organization for its global outreach to the needy, pregnant women and those with health challenges said “that is also our passion and philosophy at the ESLF. Presently we are putting up an Integrated Health Facility to provide free healthcare services for our women, children and the needy.
And we hope that in six months the facility will be commissioned for use by members of the public. So there is so much to be done to ensure that our people live in good health so as to be able to contribute their quota to governance and I can assure you that the ESLF will go into partnership with you for technical assistance to actualize our vision of sound health for our people,” she stated.