Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The World Health Organization defines maternal death as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration or site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management, but not from accidental causes.” So what could be responsible for such a high incidence in Nigeria? Generally speaking experts attribute the problem to medical causes like hemorrhage, pregnancy induced hypertension, infections, obstructed labor and anemia. However I think there are some non medical reasons too which I will outline below.
Poverty and ignorance is another problem. I love an advert I listen to on the radio some mornings about the NHIS. In the advert a man, Baba Aisha is running after his fowl because he wants to sell it in order to raise money to take Aisha who is sick to the hospital. His neighbor used the opportunity to inform him about the NHIS and how he could get healthcare by contributing a little sum every month. This captures how ignorance and poverty can contribute to maternal deaths.
Another problem is lack of access to basic healthcare. When the nearest clinic is several kilometers away from people as it is in rural areas, help can be too late for a mother.
These are just a few of the numerous reasons for maternal deaths in Nigeria. Please share other reasons not mentioned here and what you think can be done to check the problem.