Adamawa Launches ETS Scheme in War against Maternal Mortality 600By Garba Muhammad

Disturbed by the high rate of maternal mortality during child bearing,the Transaid,Society for Family Health (SFH) in conjunction with the Adamawa Chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Transaid on Tuesday launched the Emergency Transport Scheme in the state (ETS).

The scheme seeks to reduce maternal mortality by providing transportation facilities to women during labour and help them access various health facilities especially in the hinterland where there is poor access to transportation facilities leading to high maternal mortality rate.

While delivering the keynote address during the occasion at Muna Hotel in Yola, the Coordinator of Society for Family Health in Adamawa State Dr. Issa Yusuf said saving women was vital to saving the society.

He added that it became imperative for the organization in synergy with other concerned organizations to embark saving lives of women and newborn in view of the strategic place occupied by women in the socio economic development of the country.

Yusuf decried the high number of women being lost in the process of childbearing due to poor access to transportation facilities saying that the challenge was one of the factors identified to be responsible for high maternal death.

“Most women are being consumed through the process of child bearing.Poor access to health and transportation facilities accounts forhigh maternal death recorded,” said he.

Yusuf added that his organization is doing a lot in sensitizing pregnant women to avail themselves the antenatal care being provided by the government as that will go a long way in preventing maternal death in the country.

During his address the representative of the Commissioner of Women Affairs who is also a Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Mr.Gibson Pwanke said the government was committed to the cause of saving women from death during delivery which informed its commitment to enter into synergy with the NURTW even before the commencement of the ETS programme in the state.

He stated that his ministry is willing to partner with any agency whose goal is the reduction of maternal mortality even as he said the ministry was on track to ensure the reduction of maternal mortality to its barest minimum.

On his part the Adamawa State Chairman of NURTW Alhaji Bello Adamu said his organization was a willing tool in the process that will lead to reduction of maternal mortality as all the 66 branches of the organization in the state have embraced the programme.

“Whenever our members are called, they will be readily available” he said.

He maintained that with the spread of members of his organization to even the hinterland, the effort will become a success story adding that his members can be found in any community that has a size of at least 20 houses.

Adamu added that the major problem they usually encounter rest with the medical staff as in most cases the rural health workers are usually absent from their duty post just as he commended the security operatives for the cooperation they usually accord his members.

While delivering his speech, Mallam Abdurrazak Bello of Transaid appreciated NURTW for its indefatigable role in reducing maternal mortality saying that the membership has proved to be good partners at eradicating maternal mortality.

Bello further explained that,” In just one year 287,000 women die as a result of pregnancy-related complications around the world, and shockingly,14 per cent of these deaths are in Nigeria alone.

”Adamawa State, in North Eastern Nigeria, has one of the poorest maternal, neonatal and child health records in the country, with 400-3000 MMR per 100,000 live births. Records from the Nigerian National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) confirm that a mere 10.7% of women deliver at health facilities in Adamawa, against a national average of 35%. Many of these deaths could have been avoided if the women had been able to reach a health
facility for their delivery,” said he.

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