December 7, 2023

Angela Onwuzoo

The Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, says about 80 per cent of women in the country deliver their babies at home.

President of SOGON, Dr. Habib Sadauki, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Reportr Door HealthWise, warning that home delivery is not safe. 

Dr. Sadauki lamented that the current economic situation in the country had worsened the problem, especially among poor and vulnerable women. 

According to him, the cost of delivery has gone up in hospitals across the country as a result of the current inflation.

The consultant obstetrician and gynecologist explained, “About 80 per cent of our women deliver at home and some of them may even deliver with nobody around. 

“This practice is very dangerous for mothers especially if they have complications of bleeding. 

“Bleeding doesn’t take time to kill. If the bleeding does not stop immediately and assistance does not come immediately, the person can die easily.”

The SOGON president urged pregnant women to deliver in health facilities where there are trained skilled birth providers who can manage complications during delivery.

“We are discouraging mothers from delivering at home. They should as much as possible deliver under the supervision of a skilled provider in an appropriate facility.  

“The home is not appropriate for delivery for now. You need a trained skilled provider to supervise the labour to save the mother from complications,” he noted.

Dr. Sadauki identified ignorance, poverty, and the conditions of some of the hospitals in the country as some of the factors responsible for the practice.

He said, “Yes, the hospital is there. But there are no supplies, the patient has to buy everything. You go to the hospital, there is no light, and there is no water. The infrastructure is not enough.

“Also, if you look at the attitude of the health workers towards women during labour, it is still not good. Some still shout at patients during delivery and the environment is not dignifying. So, this discourages them from coming to the hospital.”

The maternal health specialist noted that if nothing drastic was done about the rising inflation, Nigeria may likely miss its target to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for Health and Well-being before the 2030 deadline.

The latest United Nations Children’s Fund report titled “Situation of Women and Children in Nigeria” states that the country records 576 maternal mortality per 100,000 live births, while approximately 262,000 babies die at birth every year.

Also, infant mortality, according to the report, currently stands at 69 per 1,000 live births, while under-five deaths is 128 per 1,000 live births with more than 64 per cent of the deaths caused by pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea.

According to UNICEF, too many mothers and newborns in Nigeria are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, adding that the results are devastating.

“We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every mother has good pregnancy care and every baby is born into a safe pair of hands.

“That means having well-equipped facilities with well-trained staff who can be there to welcome every Nigerian child into this world safely and healthily,” UNICEF said.

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