By Bianca Iboma-Emefu

To address high maternal and infant mortality rates, Rotary Club of Lagos West, Amuwo, has donated medical equipment worth over N1 million to the Mother and Child’s Care Hospital in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos State.

“Maternal mortality remains unacceptably high in Nigeria, ranking among the highest in the world, and the rate of reducing these deaths has been slow as many of the contributory factors remain unaddressed,” the assistant governor of the club, Rotarian Kefe Adedibu, said.

According to her, the donation of the equipment was a necessity due to the needs assessment exercise carried out by the club, where they discovered the various challenges and intervention needed to address maternal/infant mortality.

The event was the official presentation of 2022-2023 district grant project of medical facilities, where the club donated oxygen concentrator, phototherapy lamp and digital weighing scales for babies.

Adedibu stated that, for healthy families in Nigeria, “Rotary leads initiatives aimed at impacting society with qualitative health care, which would help in reducing maternal and child mortality through improve healthy system and facilities.”

She added that this combined efforts and partnership is mainly to curb fatalities. The district is behind the initiative and it is called the district grant project, which is focused on enabling accessible and quality health care services to improve the lives of a mother and her infant.

Adedibu said women and infants continue to face risks during pregnancy, birth, and the first years of life, adding that inadequate health services and facilities have compounded the situation.

“Rotary target is to reach people through essential health services and awareness and raising campaigns to encourage families that seek clinical care.,” she said.

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Speaking on fostering maternal and child health, president of the club, Osita Ogbaji, said the club is enhancing access to life-saving services that would prevent infant and maternal mortality rate.

Ogbaji stated that providing mothers and newborns with targeted healthcare, while also improving the systemic access to life-saving services will have an immediate and long-term impact on infant and not just mothers but also the wider community.

“If a woman dies or is seriously disabled, the entire family is affected. The club is well-placed to improve mother and child health. We have been committed over the years in addressing needs at the hospital just  to make a difference for the society,” he noted.

Secretary of the club, Ugochukwu Kingsley, said the donation value was over one million naira and believes the hospital would make good use of it. He appealed to the government to be committed in providing mothers and infants with quality healthcare services in the country.

“The government should  ensure that all mothers and their newborns have access to the best care possible before, during, and after birth,” he remarked.

Kingsley pointed out that “Rotary has played an integral role in improving maternal and child health outcomes, notably through their collaboration to improve healthcare and saving more lives.

Also, members of the club, Joy Ani and Njideka Maduabu, said the country needs increased funding for maternal, newborn and child health activities. They talked about strengthening neonatal services and focusing on instituting quality improvement in selected health facilities towards ensuring positive pregnancy and birth experience for women.

“In order to effectively reduce maternal mortality rate in Nigeria, it is imperative that government, working with other stakeholders, including community and traditional leaders at all levels, ensure provision of affordable quality maternal and new born services to the people wherever they live at a cost that will not impoverish them while accessing the services,” they noted.

The medical director of the Mother and Child’s Care Hospital, Dr.Adeiyi Taiwo Olugbenga, expressed delight over the donations, explaining that they would help to address the challenges associated with certain delays, which prevent women from receiving timely maternal health care.