Photo: UNFPA Nigeria
A UNFPA report has shown that Nigeria accounts for up to 13% of maternal deaths globally.
According to Nigeria’s This Day Newspaper, A 2013 demographic health survey showed that about 36, 000 women died in Nigeria during pregnancy and child labour with 5, 500 of these being teenage mothers.
Jigawa state in the Northern part of Nigeria topped the list of states with the most girls in marriage with 78% of girls aged 15-19 already married. Other states including Zamfara, Bauchi, Sokoto and Katsina States also had high prevalence of Child marriages.
The report revealed that the main factors for maternal deaths were due to haemorrhage, eclampsia, sepsis and complications from abortions.
The disparaging statistics also show that Nigeria has up to 260, 000 maternal deaths annually, 13% of which could have been prevented if the right medical assistance had been provided at time of need.
The bleak situation faced by expectant mothers in Africa’s most populous nation shows that only 51% of mothers to be have access to at least 4 antenatal visits during their pregnancy, while only 6.6million births in the country were attended by skilled personnel.
The report, however concedes that Nigeria has taken concerted steps in the last few years to improve healthcare for mothers in a bid to reduce the high mortality rates during after pregnancy, however, much still needs to be done if the country is to achieve its goal of under 20, 000 deaths annually by 2015.