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Nigeria must improve health services for mothers and babies: here’s what can change

Nigeria must improve health services for mothers and babies: here’s what can change

NIGERIA is one of the largest contributors to maternal and newborn (neonatal) deaths in the world. It’s estimated that in 2017 the country accounted for more than 20% of the global deaths of women due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. In 2018, the maternal death rate was 512 per 100,000 live births while the death of babies within the first four weeks of life was 39 per 1,000 live births. Author JAMILU TUKUR, Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Bayero University, Kano These rates are among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. A recent Lancet Commission noted that the country has…
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Poor knowledge and practice around oxytocin could put women in Nigeria at risk during childbirth

Poor knowledge and practice around oxytocin could put women in Nigeria at risk during childbirth

Authors CHIOMA S. EJEKAM, Consultant Public Health Physician, University of Lagos CHIMEZIE ANYAKORA, Professor, Pan Atlantic University SEVERE bleeding after childbirth – postpartum haemorrhage – is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in middle-income countries. Oxytocin is an affordable and effective drug that’s recommended to prevent postpartum haemorrhage. But there are concerns about the quality of oxytocin available for use by healthcare workers in most low- and middle-income countries, including Nigeria. Oxytocin requires cold chain supply from the point of manufacture to the point of use for it to maintain its effectiveness. But most facilities in low- and…
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The role of bias in how women are treated during childbirth: a Kenyan case study

The role of bias in how women are treated during childbirth: a Kenyan case study

GLOBAL maternal mortality is unacceptably high. Around 810 women die every day from preventable causes related to childbirth and childbirth. PATIENCE AFULANI, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco A number of factors drive maternal mortality. In developing countries it is often due to women not having access to basic health-care during pregnancy and when they give birth. Another contributory factor is the way in which women are treated when they seek care. Read more: What drives abuse of women in childbirth? We asked those providing the care Studies in poor countries have highlighted disparities in respectful and responsive care…
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Mental health for pregnant women and new mothers: why extra care is needed

Mental health for pregnant women and new mothers: why extra care is needed

ABEL FEKADU DADI, PhD research fellow (Epidemiology), Flinders University The experience of pregnancy and childbirth has been conventionally described as a happy and joyful period of time. On the other hand, the childbearing age for females is a risky time to develop depression. This is due to a range of hormonal and other changes women go through during pregnancy and childbirth. There’s much more awareness about depression today than there was two decades ago. In 2014 the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported depression as a leading mental health issue. Recent global evidence has shown a substantial burden of perinatal depression…
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