The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Canada have donated maternal health commodities and medical equipment worth about 6.2 million dollars to the Federal Government.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mrs Kori Habib, Press Officer, UNFPA , and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
According to the statement, the items will be formally presented on Dec. 10 in Ikeja and will be handed over to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
It stated that the health care agency would further distribute the commodities to other health service centres already benefiting from the Midwives Service Scheme and SURE-P in the six focal states.
The statement said the benefiting states were Lagos, Kebbi, Cross River, Kaduna, Adamawa and Ebonyi.
It said the UNFPA’s intervention was a demonstration of government and development partners’ commitment to scale up access to life-saving commodities that would reduce maternal mortality.
According to the statement, another area of concern which necessitated the donation is neo-natal mortality and child morbidity.
It said the UNFPA intended to reduce the rate, thereby attaining Millennium Development Goals four, five and six.
“This intervention is a demonstration of government and development partners’ commitment to scale up access to life-saving commodities that are necessary to accelerate reduction in maternal death.
In the statement, Ms Victoria Akyeampong, UNFPA Resident Representative, called on government and development partners to demonstrate political will and invest more resources in increased access to maternal health services.
“Government and development partners must continue to demonstrate the political will and invest more resources to increase access to maternal health services through evidence-based interventions.
“This is critical because the lives of our women and young girls depend on it.’’
The statement said the intervention should be done through evidence based methods, adding that it was critical because lives of women and young girls depended on the programmes.
In the statement, Akyeampong explained that the distribution of the commodities at the community level would contribute towards the eradication of preventable causes of death.
She said that the commodities to be presented included Magnesium Sulphate for managing Eclampsia in pregnancy (which is the cause of about 11 per cent of maternal deaths).
She also mentioned Oxytocin drugs for prevention of Postpartum Haemorrhage (which accounts for about 23 per cent of maternal deaths in Nigeria).
She said other essential medicines donated were contraceptives, antibiotics and medical equipment such as Resuscitation Tables, midwifery kit, Abdominal Retractors, Autoclaves for sterilisation of surgical equipment and surgical gowns.
According to her, the donations are in addition to UNFPA and Canadian Government’s investment in capacity building and training of health providers at over 4 million dollars in 2013.
She said that the UNFPA would continue to support the Midwives Service Scheme of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, to make reproductive health and rights a reality for Nigerian women and girls.
She added that this would be achieved through improved access to effective methods of contraception, maternal health medicines and quality maternal health services.