MSF, Jigawa State Hold Maternal Health Forum To Reduce Maternal, Neonatal Mortality
As part of its 10 years celebration of fruitful collaboration with the Jigawa State Ministry of Health to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) held a Maternal Health Forum at the Manpower Development Institute, Dutse.
Present at the event were about 130 participants comprising of traditional leaders, doctors and experts from the field of maternal health, and officials from the Federal and Jigawa State Ministry of Health.
Declaring the forum open, on 13th November 2018. the Governor of Jigawa State,Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar noted that maternal and child health remains the key priority of the Government as attested to by remarkable improvement in
maternal and newborn indices.
The Governor who was represented by the Jigawa, state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abba Zakar, commended the efforts of Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Dr. Zakar said that the Jigawa State Administration had realized that health is wealth saying, “there can be no better collaboration than the one we have had in saving the lives of women from childbirth related complications”
He further unveiled the Government’s determination to improve access to tertiary health care through the construction of General Hospitals that will be well equipped to provide free maternal and child health service.
“Our ambition is to provide a primary health centre in each political ward of the state.
In addition to the current 57 primary health care centre, plans are under way for the creation of another 23 to bring the number to a total of primary health care centres,” he added.
In an address, the Medecins Sans Frontieres Representative in Nigeria, Katja Lorenz traced the birth of the movement in 1971 a group of doctors and journalists determined to respond to grave humanitarian consequences of the Biafran conflict in Nigeria.
She explained that the MSF movement presently works in no less than nine Nigerian States combining activities in established projects such as the Emergency Obstetrics project in Jahun, Jigawa State- with emergency interventions such as responding to cholera outbreaks or seasonal burden of malaria.
Before inviting the participants to listen to MSF staff who made presentations on the Jahun project and other maternal health related topics, Katja Lorenz expressed her gratitude to the Nigerian authorities and the Ministry of Health at all levels for the cooperation received over the years.
“I would also like to appeal to all of us to do even more, and even better, in the future – together! There is so much to do still to improve the health outcomes of pregnant ladies and of newborn babies in Jigawa State, and we clearly need your help moving forward!” she said.
The forum featured among other things presentations on pre-eclampsia/eclampsia in Northern Nigeria, prospects for promoting the rehabilitation and reintegration of patients with obstetric fistula, anaemia and malaria in pregnancy that were all followed by interactive question and answer sessions.