Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) Makurdi, Prof. Terlumum Swende on Thursday disclosed that Nigeria alone account for 10 per cent of maternal deaths across the globe with a population of less than two percent of the total global population.
Swende who disclosed this at a media forum organized by Center for Family and Reproductive Health Support Initiative (CFRHSI) in collaboration with Pathfinders International attributed the high mortality rate in the country to lack of family planning which resulted to unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
The CMD who is also the Chairman of CFRHSI who lamented that a lot of women are dying from complications arising from unsafe abortions stressed the need for government to pay more attention to issues of family planning to check this unnecessary trend.
He said that the objective of the of the program is to draw attention of people particularly women and young ladies to take interest in contraception and press on government to create a dedicated budget line for family planning as a way of promoting a healthy reproductive system in the state.
Professor Swende who posited that most people especially women of reproductive age do not go for contraception which had resulted to abortion of unwanted pregnancy and early death among women said the meeting was to partner with the media especially in the area of disseminating information relating to family planning and the need for government to key into the project.
“We have called for this forum involving the media to help us propagate the information on the need for people to embrace contraception and see how government can partner with us and other relevant bodies to address this health challenge confronting the nation”, Swende stated.
In her presentation, a gynecologist and Vice Chairman of the CFRHSI, Dr. Chisa Ogbuaja stressed the need for the state government to create a dedicated budget line for family planning so as to avert unwanted deaths of pregnant women in the state.
She also enjoined families, particularly women to embrace the use of contraceptives to either space their children or prevent unwanted pregnancies to reduce the increasing spate of maternal deaths.
Dr. Ogbuaja urged the state government to rise up to the responsibility of financing family planning and other health reproductive programmes by finding a way of including budget line for family planning in this year’s supplementary budget.
In a remark, Communications/ media officer, Pathfinder International, Somto Atuanya appealed to the media to help project the activities of the Center by ensuring the government sees the need to create a budget line for family planning in the state