The Nigerian Medical Association voiced concern about the country’s Shabby state of health care facilities. The organization said 40% of medical doctors in Nigeria were still unemployed despite their importance in the country.
It therefore called on the federal government to employ medical staff capable of reducing mortality rates.
The NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, represented by the Federal Capital Territory NMA Chairman, Dr. Ekpe Phillips, expressed the views in an interview with journalists during a roundtable discussion on ‘ Maternal Health Accountability in Nigeria ‘ which ended in Abuja on Friday.
The event was organized jointly with the National Human Rights Commission and the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre and funded by the New York Center for Reproductive Health.
Akiyode-Afolabi said the maternal mortality rate in Nigeria was second to India and one of the world’s worst indices. According to her, Nigeria’s decrease of 547 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births remains unacceptably high.
She said, “We think that the experience of motherhood should be positive and fulfilling. Therefore, ill-health and even deaths that are particularly easily preventable should not be associated with it. Indeed, women’s death during pregnancy or delivery was described as a significant public health issue.
“Through this initiative, the WARDC intends to promote a discourse that respects, promotes and protects the maternal health issue of women’s human rights. We believe that preventable and unnecessary deaths of women at birth are a breach of fundamental rights, including the right to life and the right to family life.
Ekpe, Nyanyan General Hospital’s gynaecologist and medical director, said it would take up to two years for many qualified physicians to get jobs to complete their National Youth Service Corps programme.
He said, “We need to employ competent hands with pre-required skills to work in primary health care centers to reduce the mortality rate. It’s not about building health centres and putting people who don’t have what it takes to look after the patients.