A Professor of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the University College Hospital, UCH, Oladosu Ojengbede on Wednesday said that about 50 percent of pregnant women across the country are currently suffering from anaemia due to shortage and lack of good food suitable for their health during pregnancy.
Ojengbede disclosed this while delivering a paper titled: “Promoting Sustainable Development Through Effective Family Planning Programming” at the Safe Motherhood Day 2016 media forum organised by Development Communications Network, DevComs, and Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) tagged “Saving Mother’s and Baby’s lives: A Worthy Investment for National Development”.
The gynaecologist who attributed the inability of the pregnant women to afford good food rich in nutrients and vitamins to high level of poverty and economic hardship in the country said that the situation has resulted in the alarming rate of maternal mortality and morbidity in the country.
“If you look at most pregnant women, about 50 percent of them are suffering from anaemia. It is due to lack of required food and supplements during pregnancy. It is worrisome that Nigeria and India contributes 50 percent of maternal mortality in the world,” he stated.
Advocating that family should embrace family planning which has to do with having only children that could be catered for, he said, “Sustainable development will not only affect the person, but the extended family and the society. This is why we need you journalists to inform our people about family planning. You have the responsibility to get the people aware of the family planning. It has been assumed that a decline in fertility would relive women of the burden of repeated child-bearing and free up opportunities for them to increase schooling and participate in the labour-force”.
“Family planning contributes to improved nutrition outcomes- family planning also helps women time and space their pregnancies to ensure healthy nutritional outcomes. Family planning helps women to plan and maintain a good health, family planning advances gender equality and empowerment. Family planning can support the achievements of SDGs, it can accelerate the progress of the goals”.
Also speaking, the NURHI State Team Leader, Mrs. Stella Akinso called for the prioritising of the health of women and children noting that it was worrisome that most women have not embraced family planning.
Akinso called on government to employ qualified health workers to provide basic health care need to women and children free of charge.