By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
The Federal Government has commended Ipas Nigeria, a health-based non-governmental organisation for it commitment in tackling maternal and child mortality in the country.
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, gave the commendation at the End of Project Dissemination Workshop (a five-year maternal health programme of Ipas in ten states of the federation) in Abuja.
Prof. Adewole reemphasized the immense role women as “nation-builders”, saying they contribute to the socio-economic development of the country as most of them are breadwinners of their families.
The represented by Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, a Director at the Federal Ministry of Health, the minister noted that no woman should die while giving life.
“Sharing the results of this five-year project, will contribute in no small way to the body of knowledge towards improving maternal health in Nigeria.
“Most maternal deaths can be prevented if women have access to appropriate healthcare in the pre-pregnancy period, during pregnancy, child birth and immediate post delivery.
“It is therefore our national resolve to collaborate with stakeholders to end preventable deaths of mothers and babies,” the minister said.
He observed that interventions in maternal health had moved away from fragmented implementation of health programs and policies at the states to “focused, integrated and evidence based safe motherhood services that have the capacity to save millions of lives.”
He assured that the Federal Ministry of Health would ensure the sustainability of best practices in respect of the End of Project Dissemination Meeting.
He lamented high rate of maternal deaths in some Northern parts of the country despite government’s interventions in the areas. While declaring the event open, Prof. Adewole applauded donor agencies for improving maternal health in Nigeria, particularly Ipas.
He reiterated that: “I want to appreciate the efforts of our donors, NGOs, development partners that are working in the field of maternal, child and new-born health I want to particularly thank Ipas Nigeria for your dedication to improving women’s health through unwavering focus on reproductive health.”
Earlier, Ipas Nigeria’s Country Director, Hauwa Shekarau, scored the project high in its performance, revealing that all the milestones set for the programme were surpassed.
She explained that the project which supported the development and dissemination/sharing of evidence based practice and innovations to increase women’s choice and access to comprehensive abortion care and family planning services within the project time frame, had all the key performance indicators achieved.
“Under family planning services, the percentage of family planning services achieved against the milestone set for the project was about 282 per cent. In other words, we overshot the milestone that was set for the project.
“Regarding intervention size, the percentage of the intervention size appreciated against the milestone equaled 101 per cent. The percentage of trained health workers against the milestone set for the project was 154 per cent.
“Percentage of meeting minimum quality standard as recommended under the project was 113 per cent. It is important to state here that during the life of the project, the estimated unintended pregnancies averted was1, 179. Estimated maternal deaths averted was 26, 974 and estimated unsafe abortion averted was 199, 845. “