With 2015 in sight, it has become a source of great concern if Nigeria will achieve millennium development goal (MDG) 4 and 5. This concern has urged Development Communications Network in partnership with other Civil Society Organisations to put together the ‘Not Again Campaign’ funded by the MacArthur Foundation to increase advocacy for the realisation of MDG 4 and 5 which are; to reduce child mortality rates and to improve maternal health.
At a media sensitisation workshop on Maternal Health Accountability in Nigeria for journalists and reporters in ‘Lagos State tagged Bridging the Gap: Media, Community, CSOs Collaboration for Accountability and Demand for Quality Maternal Health Services’, where the Not Again Campaign was also launched, Mrs Abiodun Owo, Program Officer of DevComs, stated that the workshop was to foster collaboration between the government, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), stakeholders and the media on issues of maternal and child mortality.
Mrs Grace Ketefe, the Deputy Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) while giving her presentation mentioned that “despite the Nigerian government having repeatedly identified maternal mortality and morbidity as a pressing problem and developed laws and policies in response, these actions have not yet translated into real or significant improvement in maternal health throughout the country”.
This she continued is due to factors such as the inadequacy or lack of implementation of laws and policies, the prevalence of systemic corruption, weak infrastructure, ineffective health services, and the lack of access to skilled health-care providers amongst others are responsible for the lack of improvement in our maternal mortality ratio(MMR).
Mrs Ketefe added that Nigeria with 545 deaths per 100 000 deliveries only performed better than seven other countries in the region; Central African Republic (with 890 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births), Sierra Leone (890), Burundi (800), Guinea-Bissau (790), Liberia (770), Sudan (730), and Cameroon (690).