Nigeria Has One of the Highest Maternity Death Rates in the World

180508_BirthKits_Nigeria_byDanielKempf-Seifried_49 (002).jpgMany mothers do not go to the hospital to give birth, they do it at home with the help of a traditional Birth Attendant. These deliveries are often unsafe and unhygienic, circumstances endangering the lives of mothers and children. One Nigerian woman dies every 13 minutes – that is 109 women dying each day - from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. The country is also the second largest contributor to maternal mortality worldwide, after India. Most of these deaths and health consequences are, however, preventable.

In April 2018 we distributed birth kits in three different places. At Nyanya Hospital in Abuja, at Sheik Muhammed Jidda Hospital in Kano, and during a community dialogue in the Unguwa uku community in Kano.

Many pregnant women attended to in all the places and were taught by nurses or other professionals on the consequences and risks of giving birth at home. Since many of the women perform a traditional in-house birth and have no expertise in car

rying it out professionally, many deaths for example occur due to a large bloo

d loss. For thisreason, we gave out birth kits which help to carry out a relatively safe birth at home. This will prevent a large blood loss and other hazardous infections. At the Co

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mmunity Dialogue in Kano the husbands were also present and showed great interest in our instruction. The participants were very thankful at the end.

Statistical analysis of maternal and perinatal mortality has proven that birth kits support efforts initiated by RFPD for the improvement of maternal and child health. If these benefiting women and men apply the knowledge gained at community dialogues and use birth kits appropriately, the mortality rate will decrease sharply over the course of the year.

The motivation of the mothers and fathers at community dialogue was great. It seems that the support and help they got, gives rise to new strength and hope.

Daniel Kempf-Seifried
Photographer

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