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Olatunji to govt: Invest in health sector to avert calamities



The immediate past chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Oyo State Chapter, Dr. Muideen Babatunde Olatunji has observed that calamities await the nation if governments at different levels refuse to invest adequately in the heath sector as it obtains in many developed nations.


The Medical Officer of Heath, Akinyele Local Government Area, made this declaration in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, while delivering a paper titled, ‘’Family Planning: Cost Effective in Tackling Maternal Health’ at a one-day media roundtable for family planning organised by Development Communication (DEVCOMS) Network.


Decrying the low budgetary allocations for health over the years by the federal, states and local governments, Olatunji said the trend has been responsible for most of the infant and maternal deaths Nigeria has been recording on daily basis, adding that, “Nigeria records about 800 deaths out of 100,000 live births among pregnant women,” a condition he said required urgent attention to tackle.


“While one woman out of about 4,000 dies as a result of pregnancy- related complications in developed countries, about 16 out of 4,000 women die as a result of pregnancy- related complications in developing counties like Nigeria. Less than one per cent of maternal and child deaths occur in developed countries as against developing counties like Nigeria where many women and children die as a result of lack of adequate heathcare,” he said.


To Olatunji, who spoke against the background of season of World Population Day, most of the deaths among pregnant women and children are avoidable if the government and other stakeholders contribute their quota by investing heavily in heath and other critical areas such as education and infrastructural development. He therefore surmised that, “If we refuse to invest in health in Nigeria, we will be harvesting calamities. How can you use a tricycle to go to hinterland and transport pregnant women? It will summersault. So everybody has a role to play and put in more effort.


“Above all, women have been found to be having inadequate heath care in this part of the world. A woman must be very healthy before she is pregnant because, pregnancy is not an easy task. That is why women are stronger than men. No woman should deliver at home due to the dangers inherent in child birth. President Muhammadu Buhari and all State Governors should therefore gear up better to take care of health of women and infants to have a healthier country”.

DEVCOMS Programme Communication Officer, Mrs. Fausiat Balogun, said, “Nigeria’s huge population, fueled by high birth rate without good family planning, can be a huge burden with resultant poor health indices such as high maternal and infant deaths. She added, “Nigeria’s maternal and child deaths is one of the highest in the world.”

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