Maternal and child health has risen to the top of the priority list for determining global and national well-being. This is due to the fact that every individual, family, and community is closely involved in pregnancy and the success of birthing at some time (WHO, 2006). Despite the respect accorded to womanhood and the joy associated with the birth of a new baby, pregnancy and delivery are still regarded as dangerous experiences. Nigeria’s mother and child health condition is among the worst in Africa, and it has not improved significantly, if at all, in some sections of the country over the last decade (Ladipo, 2009)

The maternal death rate in Nigeria ranges from 800 to 15000 per 100,000 live births (Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, 2003), with significant differences across geopolitical zones (165 in the South West vs. 1,549 in the North-East) and between urban and rural areas (Ladipo,2009). The total fertility rate in Nigeria is 5.7 births per woman, with an estimated 59,000 maternal fatalities occurring each year as a result of pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery problems (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, 2007).

According to research (Ladipo, 2009), there is a strong correlation between the health of newborns and the health of their mothers. Poor maternal health and inadequate care throughout pregnancy, birth, and the critical immediate postpartum period cause 30-40% of newborn and infant fatalities (Ladipo, 2009).

Every year in Nigeria, 340,000 newborns die at delivery or shortly after, particularly if the mother dies during childbirth (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, 2007). The death rate for children under the age of five is 200 per 1000 live births (WHO, 2006). These deaths are linked to the country’s poor maternal health services and could be averted if quality and effective maternity and child health services were available.

Nigeria is one of the African countries with the fastest population growth. One of the primary health concerns facing the country today as a developing economy is the capacity to support the expanding baby and maternal health. The most common recorded causes of perinatal fatalities are comparable to those in other less developed nations, with early childbirth, poor maternal health, and, most importantly, a lack of suitable and quality services as common denominators (Okereke, Kanu, Nwachukwu, Anyanwu, Ehiri & Merick, 2005). Despite the fact that life-saving procedures for most infants have been recognized for decades, one-third of mothers still do not have access to health care during pregnancy, and nearly half do not have access to health care during childbirth (Okereke, et al., 2005). Due to factors such as ignorance, apathy, poverty, and increased risks of adverse environmental health exposures, maternal and child health prospects could be a serious national public health problem in the face of rapid population growth and increased risks of adverse environmental health exposures.

Leave a Comment