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Nigeria’s Maternal Mortality Is The Worst In the World – Osagie Ehanire

Mr. Osagie Ehanire

Mr. Osagie Ehanire

Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has come out to say that Nigeria’s maternal mortality, reproductive health mortality and child mortality is the worst in the world.

He recently revealed this at a three-day retreat organised by the House Committee on Health Services in Abuja, and Nigerians have been reacting.

According to him, to remedy the dire situation, plans are currently on the way to establish a Public Health Security Fund to finance public health in the country.

He added that he has also written to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the Minister of Finance on the matter, so a resolution would be provided soon.

His words, “Nigeria has one of the worst indices in maternal health, reproductive health, child health. Under 5 mortality, we are one of the worst in the world. There was a time we were getting over 900 maternal death per 10,000 live birth. In the last five years, it stagnated because of the investment.”

“The very concept behind the save 1 million lives was because of the fact that we are having nearly one million needless death in Nigeria that could be avoided if certain things were done and we created some pillars to achieve that.”

“That investment was 500 million US dollars taken as a loan by the federal government and given to the states as a grant. While technically that was successful, the actual impact of reducing one million death became questionable. Did we really reduce?”

“In reality, we needed to have addressed the gaps and one of the biggest gaps is the lack of access to health care. If a woman is in the village and goes into labour at 1.00 am, she is on her own because if she has a complication, some of them will not have tomorrow.”

“The same thing applies to children. Add the accident on our roads. Some are taken to the hospital and are asked to make payment before being attended to or nobody will attend to you because you cannot have access to an ambulance. There is something mission and that is emergency medical ambulance which many developed country has.”

“In the wisdom of those who drafted the National Health Act, they included 5 per cent for medical emergencies and I want to believe that what was on their mind was to use that to attend to those who left on their own, those who are unsung, those who die silently and are not reported by the newspapers because they live in the rural areas and are only part of the statistics that we see.”

“We decided to apply this 5 per cent to emergency medical services which the Ministry of health is in the process of setting up and is receiving the support of the House committee.”

“We have written to the Minister of Finance and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to make a case for a Public Health Security Fund. I will like to appeal to members to support the establishment of a public health security fund that will take care of public health security. At the time the 2014 National Health Act was being pursued, the first use of the money I described was the intention.”

“Public health security is very important and so, a separate fund can be created to take care of it. The NCDC is already well funded because they get money even from donor agencies. But there is no donation for managing our public health or emergency medical service. So we are looking for support in that area.”

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