In an effort to tackle Nigeria’s alarming maternal mortality rates, sexual and reproductive health experts are urging the Federal Government to champion the safe utilization of reproductive health kits and modern technology. Citing data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which ranks Nigeria with an estimated maternal mortality ratio of 917 deaths per 100,000 live births, the experts stressed the necessity of adopting contemporary self-care practices in sexual and reproductive health among Nigerian women.
This imperative call was made during a one-day orientation on the National Guidelines for Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health, hosted in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Dr. Sakina Bello, Senior Technical Advisor representing the Country Director of Pathfinder International, Dr. Amina Dorayi, highlighted the pivotal role that modern self-care and the responsible use of reproductive health kits play in mitigating maternal mortality. Dr. Dorayi underscored the significance of making modern medicine accessible and affordable, enabling people to make informed choices for their health.
While acknowledging the enduring role of traditional medicine in Nigeria, Dr. Dorayi emphasized that the aim is not to eliminate it altogether but rather to provide accurate information and ensure the availability and affordability of modern medical options.
Dr. Kemi Otolorin, the National President of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), echoed these sentiments, advocating for the enhancement of self-care practices without causing harm. Dr. Otolorin also highlighted the untapped potential of traditional remedies, citing examples like the use of ginger to alleviate pregnancy-related nausea.
MWAN, a significant player in the health sector, particularly concerning reproductive and maternal health, plays a vital role in the Self-care Advocacy Network (SAN). Dr. Otolorin affirmed MWAN’s commitment to conducting step-down training for other stakeholders within the health sector and organizing regional meetings to disseminate messages that facilitate Nigerian access to care at all levels, thus benefiting the nation as a whole.
The initiative, driven by a vision of improving self-care practices and diminishing maternal mortality, seeks to leverage the availability and affordability of modern technology within the realm of reproductive health. Through these combined efforts, the ultimate goal is to safeguard the lives and well-being of Nigerian women.