ANHEJ urges FG to revive Midwifery Scheme to combat high maternal mortality

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By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

The Association of Nigerian Health Journalists, ANHEJ, has urged the Federal Government to resuscitate Nigeria’s  Midwifery Service Scheme, MSS, an intervention to end material and child mortality in the country.

ANHEJ made this call in a communique signed  by the National President Mr Hassan Zaggi and the Secretary General Gloria Essien  which was issued at the end of a 3- Day conference organized by the association on December 4-5,2020 at Goshen Hotel, Nasarawa State.

According to the communique the  MSS, a unique form of government’s  intervention  in the health sector to halt the high rate of both maternal and newborn and child mortality has  suffered neglect and is now in a state of comatose.

The association noted that the government has taken steps to address the issues around maternal and infant mortalities that includes the mandatory one year Midwifery Service Scheme, MSS, but the status of that laudable scheme presently has failed to achieve the desired results.

” Several challenges ranging from funding to insecurity have brought the scheme to it’s kneels.”

According to WHO report, Nigeria accounted for 19% of global maternal deaths between 1990 and 2015 which meant that at least 800 women in every 100,000 died during childbirth.

ANHEJ therefore called on the Federal Government to investigate the challenges bedevilling the MSS, resolve such challenges and reposition the Scheme to it’s former glory before the end of the second quarter of 2021.

It  urged that the reproductive health of women within reproductive age must be given priority and budgetary allocations for the Reproductive Health must be released in full and in good time within 2021 Fiscal year.

The association noted that although the nation’s health system is troubled by policy design, funding and service delivery, without strategic policy design and proper funding of the health sector  service delivery will always remain poor.

It called on  Health Journalists to report issues around Reproductive Health and  family planning needs of women and girls within reproductive age.

The dangers of unsafe abortion must be given keen attention in order  to attract the attention of policy makers, it emphazied.

It also admonished it’s members to increase their reportage COVID-19 especially during the second wave of the pandemic in the country by educating  the  public on the latest trends and the need to adhere to the WHO/ NCDC/ NCDC COVID-19 protocols.

 ANHEJ expressed it’s commitment to support the Government, international partners and other stakeholders in the health Sector to ensure that Nigerians  get the information they need as regards CVID-19 and other emerging diseases in the country.

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