The United Nations Population Fund has said that 110 Nigerian women die daily from pregnancy or childbirth related complications.
UNFPA Assistant Resident Representative, Pre-National Council on Health, Adonri Osaretin, said that of the 2,443,000 pregnant women deaths recorded worldwide between 2003 and 2009, 90 per cent of the cases occurred in developing countries, including Nigeria.
Osaretin, who was represented by the Assistant Country Representative, UNFPA, Ms Rati Ndhlovu, stated this in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Wednesday during the Pre-National Council on Health Side Meeting titled, “Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal Mortality and Scaling up Action to Achieve Millennium Development Goals.”
According to her, the daily deaths of the women are equivalent to Boeing 747 plane crashing every day. She added that because the women were poor and disadvantaged, their deaths were often ignored.
She said, “Every two minutes a woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth related complications somewhere in the world. According to World Health Organisation, between 2003 and 2009 this resulted in the deaths of 2,443,000 women.
“This is equivalent to one full Boeing 747 jet crashing every day. About 90 per cent of these deaths occur in developing countries, including Nigeria. And one out of every eight of the women dying live in Nigeria; this translates to about 110 Nigerian women dying every day.
“But poor disadvantaged women with little or no education are dying and their deaths are oftentimes ignored.”
She said that excessive bleeding and convulsion during pregnancy had been the two leading causes of the deaths, noting that the causes were preventable when basic low cost but essential supplies and education of women and their families about identifying danger signs in pregnancies are applied.
She stated that the UNFPA and its partners were working together “to help the world deliver a future where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”
The UNFPA representative said the global body required effective policies, innovative financial mechanisms, accountability, aligned and transparent budgets as well as and systems and programmes that can really deliver for women and girls.
She said, “We also need dedicated people who will work towards clear and measurable targets to improve maternal health. We need to make sure that high-impact interventions are scaled up, that we are making creative use of new technologies, and that our efforts are coordinated for maximum efficiency.
“We want to ensure access to these critical supplies, save lives and improve the health of women, children and young people.”