Lack Of Facilities Still A Major Cause Of Maternal Deaths – Doctors
Medical doctors at the Ibadan Central Hospital (ICH) say unavailability of basic health facilities is a major factor fueling maternal deaths in Oyo State.
They stated this during a maternal health gathering organized by ICH to mark its 25th anniversary.
They called for improvement in the number and standards of basic health facilities in the state to reduce the high maternal mortality.
Dr Desmond Oludele, a medical director at ICH, said, “One of the major causes of maternal mortality in Ibadan is lack of access to basic health facilities. ICH is well equipped with facilities to help pregnant women and also educate them because education is also very important as most of them are not aware of what to do before, during and after pregnancy.”
Speaking on the plight of pregnant sickle cell mothers, Oludele said there is a need for early diagnoses of mothers’ genotypes and regular medical checkup at competent medical facilities to forestall instances of complications related to their condition.
He said: “For sickle cell patients, our advice is that as much as possible, go to the hospital or any diagnosis centre to do the tests and know your genotype and once this is confirmed, you can always go to health facilities to do a checkup if they have any illness so that they can be tested and treated as soon as possible because most times, sickle cell patients die from their health condition because of lack of access to basic health”.
He added that this was necessary because sickle cell patients are more prone to anaemia and infection which, when not promptly addressed, leads to further complications.
Dr Oludele said with the availability of basic healthcare systems, a number of sickle cell patients successfully go through pregnancy and child delivery without hitches.
Also speaking, Dr Ajayi Segun, a general practitioner, said delayed response to maternal complaints due to the inaccessibility of medical facilities and personnel also causes irreversible complications that could lead to maternal or child death.
He enjoined pregnant mothers and their families to put in place emergency mechanisms to address unexpected complaints or issues especially in the 3rd semester.
Olajumoke Caxton- Martins, the General Manager of ICH, also called on the government to establish more primary healthcare centres and equip them.
“The elite and educated ones know they have to go to the hospital but at the grassroots level, the rural people still patronise traditional birth attendants and go to mission houses to have babies. What happens here is that there is no adequate medical care. They do not understand when labour is obstructed and need to get the right type of medical care.
“So what the government needs to do in the first place is to get these traditional birth attendants and educate them on how to take care of the women.”
Over 500 pregnant women benefited from the event. They were fed, entertained and presented with gifts such as baby wardrobes, beddings, toiletries and clothing.