Founder of MRH Research Collective and Prof of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Lagos, Prof Bosede Afolabi, has hinted that her NGO is working to reduce the high incidence of maternal mortality in Nigeria.
Prof Afolabi spoke to newsmen after the run to life programme to create awareness and raise funds for her pet project.
The programme, which started from Admiralty Way, Lekki, and terminated at Muri Okunola Park on Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island, on Saturday, October 28,2023 witnessed a huge turnout.
According to her, the high maternal mortality rate in Nigeria is unacceptable, hence the need to reduce it.
She said; ” This event is the culmination of a month long activities to create awareness in maternal mortality.
“In 2020, 82, 000 pregnant women died during pregnancy and child birth. The statistics showed that 225 women died daily from childbirth in Nigeria. It’s three times higher than India that her population is very higher than ours.
“So, as we have been running this morning, we’ve lost about 10 women. In a developed world, about 10 women died yearly during pregnancy and child birth. Ours is too high and unacceptable.
“This campaign is to let people be aware and also helpful to pregnant women.
“A lot of pregnant women will deliver normally without problems, but a lot will die if they don’t go to qualified practitioners to register. For instance, a woman who registered with ‘Alagbo’ (herbal sellers) will not know what to do if a woman starts bleeding during childbirth.
“Our plan is to register 5000 vulnerable pregnant women who can not afford it. We have registered 300 already.”
Continuing, Prof Afolabi said; ” It’s my life mission to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria because I am tired of saying the same thing for decades.
“Those who can not afford to register with qualified practitioners should visit our website at www.mrhrcollective.org to register. The programme itself is called Mama Base Intervention. Mama, for mothers and base for our database. We have employed community health workers that would take care of them from pregnancy to their delivery time.” She added.
She, however, said the event is also to create awareness that pregnant women should go and register at the public health institutions around them.
” Even when there are functional hospitals, some pregnant women are not going there to register. I went to an outreach the other day at Ijora Badia, and 100 women were registered. I saw about 40 pregnant women, and 36 were not registered when we inquired from them.”
Prof Afolabi also used the opportunity to thank the sponsors of the programme, most especially Sterlingone Foundation, Nigerian Brewery, and others who joined her in the project to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, a representative of Sterling One Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe, said her organisation is working with Prof Afolabi’s NGO to reduce maternal mortality to save mother and child during child birth.