The Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, WARDC, Dr Abiola Afolabi has said maternal mortality can be successfully reduced if Nigeria put women’s rights at the Centre of the equation.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion on accountability for maternal health in Nigeria, Dr Afolabi said one of the objectives of our centre is to ensure a greater appreciation of the legal implications of the state’s responsibility for maternal mortality.
She said Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate is second to India and one of the worse indicators around the world.
“Even the reduction at 547 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Nigeria still remains unacceptably high, as we believe motherhood should be a positive and infilling experience.”
Dr Afolabi also said that child’s birth should not be associated with ill health and even death that are especially easily preventable adding that the death of women during pregnancy or delivery has been described as a major public health problem.
“Maternal health issue is a human rights concern and government has the obligations to ensure that women’s human rights are respected, promoted and protected.”
”It is our belief that beyond the much touted medical and social reasons for maternal deaths, preventable and needless deaths of women at childbirth constitute a violation of fundamental rights, including right to life and right to family life”.