Nigeria develops baseline study on maternal health

08:32, December 10, 2009      

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Nigeria is developing a baseline study on maternal health and socio-strategic implementation framework for reduction of maternal mortality, the News Agency of Nigeria reported on Wednesday.

Salamatu Suleiman, the country's minister of women affairs, announced this on Tuesday in Abuja at a ministerial press briefing.

She said maternal mortality was a very serious issue in the country.

"The government under the 2009 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) budgetary appropriation, earmarked some funds to the ministry to enable it complement national efforts toward the reduction of maternal and child mortality," she said.

"The support is in enhancing the capacities of three primary health care centers and one general hospital each in 12 states and the development of a baseline study on maternal health," she added.

"It is also to help in the strategic implementation of the framework for reduction of maternal mortality," Suleiman said.

She said traditional birth attendants in the country were being sensitized on the magnitude of maternal deaths.

The minister added that the ministry had established 11 skills acquisition centers for women across the country to improve their economic power and enhance their status.

She said there were over 2 million cases of Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) in the country, and listed Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Akwa-Ibom as the worst hit states.

Suleiman said her ministry and the Ministry of Health had stepped up efforts in assisting the affected state governments in tackling the challenges posed by VVF.

On the political empowerment of women, she said her ministry and its partners had concluded arrangements to hold an all-inclusive women political summit by the 1st quarter of 2010.

The summit is aimed at encouraging more women to participate actively in politics, the minister said.

Source: Xinhua
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