The State of Health Affairs for Infants and Women
According to recent studies, Nigera is going to lose close to 145 women that are of childbearing age today as well. These are not numbers that are going to change unless there are some major interventions directed towards this part of the population in the very near future. It has been found that there are many lives that could have been saved if these women and children would have been given proper interventions early enough.
When you stop and think about it, it sounds almost impossible that close to 55,000 women and girls are going to die each and every year in Nigeria because of some type of a pregnancy related complication. Think about this in comparison to women and children in America, who have probably faced many of the same complications but since they were treated properly, they were able to survive and live their lives. This is the way that it should be for Nigerian women as well.
What Lies Ahead for Nigerian Women and Children
While there has been some progress that has started to slow down the death rate of children under the age of five, we are still going to face and deal with many different diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia and even measles all of which, however, can be prevented.
These are the types of diseases and conditions that are going to account for more than 70% of the deaths in Nigeria each and every year. A quarter of the children under the age of five that pass away in Nigeria are going to be newborns. These deaths generally occur within the first week of the newborn child’s life and this is often related to different complications that may have occurred during the birth of the child and the quality of care that the mother received while she was pregnant.
It is sad to know that your chances of dying when you are in labor in Nigeria are 1 in 13. Only 35% of deliveries that are going to take place in Nigeria are going to be carried out by birth attendants that are skilled and know what they are doing. This is really sad because it just goes to show that there are many, simple ways in which maternal and child deaths can be prevented.
Finally, the health of mothers and children is also affected by the fact that they are not going to have access to sanitation and clean water. One might not realize it but only approximately half of the population in Nigeria is going to use water that is clean and proper sanitation. That is one reason why diarrhea has been known to also cause so many deaths in young children.
About the Integrated Maternal Newborn and Child Health Strategy
The federal government of Nigeria has recently adopted the Integrated Maternal Newborn and Child Health Strategy. It is hoped that initiatives such as these are going to impact the overall health and well being of women and children in Nigeria. Health professionals will become more qualified and supplies will be easily available and well managed throughout Nigeria. It is also believed that this strategy will begin to address the main causes of death within pregnant women as well as within children that are under the age of 5.
This strategy will be implemented in 3 different phases. The first phase would last from 2007-2009, the second phase would be implemented between 2010-2012 and the final phase would be between 2013-2015. All of the intervention packages will be issued through the current health care systems within Nigeria. While all of this sounds like it may cost a lot of money, it is really only going to cost $7.57 annually, per capita. Just keep in mind that this will increase a little bit over time as these strategies enter the third phase because more clinical interventions are going to be delivered.
Women will receive deworming during pregnancy and will also be checked for syphilis during pregnancy. If the disease is detected, then the situation will be managed. These are just a few of the different interventions that women will be able to benefit from. Children will receive vaccinations for measles, TB, and Hep B and will also be given vitamin A supplements. With movements like this it may be possible to slowly improve the overall health of individuals living here.