The Nigerian Ministry of Health says it will ensure the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality in the country through the adoption of the Maternal and Postnatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR).
Sen. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State, Health, gave the assurance in a statement issued by the Assistant Director of Press and Publicity of the ministry, Ms Eunice Akro, in Abuja.
Mamora made the assertion during a courtesy visit by a team from the Rotary Club International and Rotary Action Group for population and Development (RFPD), who intimated him of their efforts on partnering with government to ensure reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality in the country.
He explained that the MPDSR was an integral part of quality care, which the ministry in collaboration with other stakeholders have developed as a national strategy based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) multi-stakeholder led quality of care.
He noted that it was a strategy for medical audit for maternal and perinatal deaths geared at identifying the cause of deaths as well as devising means to prevent reoccurrence.
The minister stated that the Federal Government remains committed to ensuring that its efforts towards the reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality indices in Nigeria was rewarding.
He expressed with regrets at the current maternal and neonatal mortality ratios of 576/100,000 and 37/1000 live births respectively in Nigeria.
The minister said these were unacceptable and stated the commitment of the government to change the narrative.
According to him, we acknowledge that we have not had good indices in Nigeria and this calls for the need to step up our efforts.
The minister commended the contributions of the Rotary in the area of polio eradication and urged them not to relent in their current efforts directed at the reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality.
Mamora expressed government continuous partnership and collaboration with the organisation towards attaining the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality in the country.
Meanwhile, Mr Abdulaziz Mashi, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, said that government had already rolled out the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), which Mashi said had a component that takes care of maternal and neonatal health.
The Permanent Secretary explained that the BHCPF was one per cent of government consolidated revenue and contributions from donor grants set aside to fund the basic health needs of Nigerians.
He announced that two tranches of the funds have been disbursed to some States, in addition to various ongoing interventions by the Ministry.
Mashi said it was hoped that when these funds were put in full operation, the indices would really improve.
Speaking on the issue of server, interface and administration raised by the visiting team, the Permanent Secretary further assured that government was ready to take over the e-platforms as and when due.
He added that it had a dedicated ICT company, Galaxy Backbone that provides services to government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).
Earlier, Prof. Emmanuel Lufadeju, Co-ordinator/Vice Chairman, Rotary International said that Rotary had worked in collaboration with Ministry of Health for over 15 years having a mandate with the Ministry in the area of Maternal and neonatal health.
Lufadeju said they have also been in partnership with the German Ministry of Health and Co-operation that have been able to establish e-platforms amongst others focused on Tertiary, Secondary and Primary Health Care centres.
He announced that they were seeking government collaboration to extend its services to Community Health Centres, having recorded some reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality in the areas they have covered.
The coordinator explained that they have engaged the services of a consultant from Germany to handle the e-platform.
He called on the government to make adequate preparation to take over the management of the centres for the purpose of continuity and sustainability.