Rotary launches initiative to combat maternal, child deaths in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo

To combat maternal and perinatal mortality in the country, Rotarian Action Group for Population and Development (RFPD) in conjunction with international partners have launched an initiative to reduce the scourge in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States.

The project also sponsored by Rotary club of Mannheim-kurfalz and District 1860, Germany, Rotary club of Hanseong and District 3650, South Korea, Rotary club of Gbagada and District 9110 and the Rotary Foundation is aimed at achieving a sustainable reduction of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity through implementation of obstetric quality assurance (OQA) and Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) Guidelines in 15 selected in the three states.

According to the organisers, the OQA system has already been successfully introduced in 25 selected hospitals within the Rotary Maternal and Child Health (MCH) scaling up projects.

Speaking at the launch held at Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Host Project Contact, PDG Adeniji Raji said since 2016, the OQA system has additionally been integrated into the MPDSR-Guidelines and is currently implemented in 8 states namely Kano, Kaduna, FCT Abuja, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra, Osun and Ondo.

According to him, maternal health is becoming a global concern because the lives of millions of women of reproductive age can be saved through maternal health care services.

Raji who noted that community education on the importance of having skilled attendants at delivery is key to saving mothers and children added that maternal health care service is at the forefront of interventions for decreasing maternal mortality.

“Mothers’ knowledge of danger signs, and autonomy, are very significant determinants of care utilisation,” he said.

To achieve the objective of the project, Raji said certain measures would be implemented.

These measures include implementation of obstetrical and hygiene standards by the provision of necessary capacity building through training, and the introduction of a web-based tool for a systematic approach to quality assurance in obstetric: continuous monthly data collection and analysis, benchmarking process, audit, and evaluation. Others include training of medical staff and health workers in communities, information, and advocacy in the domain of sexual and reproductive health using “Community Dialogues” with traditional rulers, local authorities and residents.

Raji explained that the statistical capacities of the ministries of health in these states will be improved to enable them to independently to collect and analyze obstetrical data from all state hospitals.

“The result of this ongoing analysis will be fed back to the hospitals so that deficits can be identified and new standards introduced. This procedure leads to a continuous circle of quality improvement and will sustainably improve the quality of obstetric care in the states”, he said.

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