The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) has launched the revised guidelines and tools for maternal perinatal and child death surveillance & response (MPCDSR) and also inaugurated a steering committee to be chaired by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
During the launch yesterday in Abuja, Ehanire also inaugurated a technical working group at the first bi-annual Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child Adolescent and Elderly Health plus Nutrition (RMNCAEH+N) multi-stakeholder partnership coordination platform.
Recall that since the launch of the Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Strategy in 2007, the national MNCH partnership (PMNCH) has been coordinated by the core technical committee (CTC), leading to the establishment of the technical working groups for each programmatic area in RMNCAEH +N spectrum.
In a bid to improve the well-being of women, children, adolescents and the elderly in Nigeria, in 2020 the government launched the RMNCAEH+N, a multi-stakeholder partnership coordination platform.
The platform harmonised the health interventions of the government and health partners to reduce wastage and channel funds to get the desired result to achieve universal health care coverage (UHC).
It brings together a wider cross-sector of partners and traditional leaders to address the gaps in achieving effective overall coordination of RMNCAEH+N issues by harnessing the relative strengths of individual players to leverage resources, reduce duplication and induce speed towards maximised health outcomes.
Ehanire disclosed that the presidents of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) and the Paediatrics Association of Nigeria (PAN) were vice chairs.
The minister recognised maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response (MPDSR) as a priority initiative that gave the serious subject of maternal, perinatal and infant mortality and morbidity audit the attention required to learn lessons that would help the country avert future occurrences.
He said that the initiative has, indeed, been expanded to incorporate child mortality audit, making it now MPCDSR.
“The enabling bill has been passed by the National Assembly and is awaiting presidential assent.
“These developments are what inform the launch today of the revised guidelines and tools for MPCDSR and inauguration of the steering committee.
“Members of this committee are the chairman, Senate Committee on Health; Chairman, House Committee on Health; Commissioners of health of RMNCAEH+N states, heads of departments of FMoH, family health, hospital services, public health, health planning, research and statistics; food and drugs services and ICT.
“Parastatals and line ministries; the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), National Population Commission (NPC), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA) and National Orientation Agency (NOA).
“Professional associations; SOGON, Paediatrics Association of Nigeria (PAN), Nigerian Society of Neonatal Medicine (NiSoNM), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Association of Nigeria Private Medical Practitioners (ANPMP), Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria (APHPN), Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON), CPN, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).
“Regulatory bodies: Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN).
“Civil societies: Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), youth-led non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society organisations (CSOs), advocates for health.
“Traditional and religious organisations: Sultan of Sokoto and president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN),” he outlined.
He explained that the committee shall serve for four years, guided by the following terms of reference: “Provide technical guidance to the honourable minister, provide oversight on MPCDSR nationwide, support knowledge management, documentation and research and give support to the state MPDSR steering committee in the implementation of MPDSR plans and processes.”
Ehanire said that an analysis of bottlenecks indicates a need to examine the coordination architecture at strategic and technical levels and reposition the National Reproductive Health Technical Working Group to address the thematic areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights against this backdrop.
The minister said the FMOH is resolute in ensuring that women have safe pregnancy and delivery services.
“April 11th was set aside as global Safe Motherhood Day, so we use this forum to join in commemorating safe motherhood, themed “Access to quality maternal care, a right for every pregnant woman” and the slogan “Save the mothers, Save the future.”
“It reiterates a rights-based approach to safe motherhood and stimulates commitment of health care professionals and stakeholders to the need to ensure quality care,” he said.
He said that safe motherhood arises from the concerted effort of the pregnant woman, her family, the community and health personnel at all levels of care, to ensure the safety of mothers during pregnancy, delivery and afterwards.
“By this definition, all members of society play a role. We know that a major factor in maternal mortality is the delay in reaching a health facility.
“The National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) will be launched and piloted in FCT, to mitigate barriers and facilitate prompt access for patients in need of urgent medical attention without the demand for payment at the point of care.
“This service will be expanded to other states to make it available to pregnant women in Nigeria,” he explained.
He stated that one ugly complication from the failure of safety and timely delivery was obstetric fistula, the devastating injury to women, of which up to 90 per cent of deliveries end in stillbirth.
“Nigeria has an estimated prevalence rate of about 150,000 cases with 12,000 new cases recorded yearly. At FMoH, our key role in the provision of leadership and strategic direction as well as creating an enabling environment for the technical delivery of RMNCAEH+N,” he added.