The senator representing Kogi Central senatorial district, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan has urged the federal government to prioritise maternal mortality in its 2024 budget to curb the rate of deaths during childbirth.
In a statement by the spokesperson of the senator, Arogbonlo Israel, she made the call during the 2024 budget defence/interactive session between senate committee on Women Affairs and the minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye.
The senator also frowned at the proposed street lights installation in Anambra State, rehabilitation of Central Mosque and Islamic library in Zamfara, procurement of Cargo tricycles for farmers in Abia, as proposed by the minister, noting that the ministry of Women Affairs should focus more on ensuring safe delivery of pregnant women.
According to her, “I have looked through your budget and I can identify some projects here; construction of blocks of classrooms in Kano, rehabilitation of Central Mosque and Islamic library in Zamfara, procurement of Cargo tricycles for farmers in Abia, provision of street lights in Anambra, and the list goes on. I don’t understand how these projects connect to addressing issues of women.
“Maternal mortality today according to the World Health Organisation stands at 1,047 out of 100,000 live births. That is data generated from the urban areas where research is easily conducted. In factual consideration of rural areas, the figure would triple more.
“I am from Kogi Central, we have five local government areas, and access to good healthcare services in the communities is very difficult, especially for women.
“I am not exaggerating if I say not less than ten women die daily from obstructed labour amongst other complications. There are no ambulances to commute emergency cases to hospitals and many babies die because there are no functional incubators in the entire Kogi. I stand to be corrected.
“Hon. Minister, instead of roads and street lights, we want functional primary healthcare centres in rural communities with incubators and ambulances… even if it’s a tricycle just like India.”