NGO Emphasises On The Use Of Lifesaving Drugs In Combating Maternal/Neonatal Mortality

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By Kalshingi H Jedidah Gombe

usaidA United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project in Nigeria, known as Targeted States High Impact Project ( TSHIP) has emphasised on the need for an improved Primary Health Care Delivery particularly  among women and children by increasing high impact integrated maternal and newborn health care interventions through enhancing provision and use of life saving drugs with a view to reduce life loss among women and children especially during and after child birth.

The TSHIP Project Director for Gombe and Plateau, Mr Badibanga Stanley Alkali spoke with our reporter shortly after a workshop organised by the NGO in Gombe Yesterday that the project was targeted at strengthening health care delivery particularly in high risk areas of infant and maternal mortality through the use of Chlorhexidine-gluconate and Misoprostol life saving drugs which have been proven to be most effective in reducing severe bleeding in women and prevention of infectious diseases in children during and after delivery.

According to him, the workshop was organised for Ward Development Committee,Health facilitators of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, and volunteers, with a view to collect data, discuss and analyse its target setting and sustainability plans with a view to further improve effective health care delivery among women and children in the state.

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He said the NGO’ s presence in Gombe was necessitated by the effort of Gombe state government among six other states of the federation which procured about 26,500 units of the life saving drugs to improve child and maternal health care delivery in the state after heeding to the national call to action on maternal and neonatal mortality in March 2014.

Alkali also disclosed that, even though the project has recorded a huge success over the years, it has also recorded some few cases of  resistance in some communities within the state, an action he said was in connection to ignorance and lack of awareness about the effectiveness of the life saving drugs by the people.

Against this backdrop he said, the organisation has already contacted its Technical Working Group to advice the state government on the need to ensure a policy that would support continuous provision and use of the life saving drugs particularly at the rural areas of the state. Even as he said, the project would continue to focus on creating more awareness among various communities through various media channels.

” We want our communities to understand the importance of these drugs and how to effectively use them, we are interested in reducing the rate of infant and maternal mortality to a bearest minimum.”

He said report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has proved that, child birth related complication is responsible for about one quarter of deaths among pregnant women, worldwide, out of this number, Nigeria alone accounts for ten percent of global birth related deaths among women.

Also, speaking, the Coordinator, Primary Health Care, Kwami Local Government Area of the state, Alh Umaru Musa Biri, described the programme as a welcome development in terms of reducing maternal and infant mortality in the state. According to him, a lot of women and children have lost their lives during or after child birth as a result of severe bleeding and infections.” These drugs have been proven to be very effective, in those days, we had many cases of  death among our women and children mostly as a result of complications during or after child birth, but by the coming of this intervention, you can save a woman’s life by giving her only three tablets, to this I can say its really a welcome development.” He said.

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