Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, yesterday inaugurated a task force on accelerated reduction of maternal mortality in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the task force in Abuja, he said it had three months to provide a road map on reduction of maternal mortality in the country.
He said the high Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in the country was unacceptable and had become imperative to address the challenge as soon as possible.
He said safe motherhood was a basic right for every pregnant woman.
“It is noteworthy that a woman is a primary caregiver, nation builder and contributes significantly to the economic and social development of our great country.
“Safe motherhood, therefore, is critical to national development and no woman should die while giving life,” Adewole said.
He said Nigeria had the highest MMR far above the global rate, adding that the country had not done well in the health sector in the last 30 years.
“North-East is the worst in MMR followed by North-West and we are starting with six states. With time the programme will be extended to other states,” he said.
The minister described maternal mortality as the death of a woman in pregnancy “or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of duration and site of pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy.”