Emir of Shonga urges subjects to embrace maternal death prevention care
Cautions against prolonged labour at home
SHONGA, KWARA STATE – In a bid to prevent child birth complications and deaths, the Emir of Shonga in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara, Dr Yahaya Haliru, has instructed his chiefs and community leaders, to always ensure that pregnant women in the community no longer labour for long hours at home without being referred promptly to a health centre.
The Emir made this declaration today at his palace while responding to the requests by the Engenderhealth team, implementing partners of USAID fistula Care Plus project, during a courtesy call to his highness.
The Emir who is also a medical doctor acknowledged that prolonged labour at home or at any unskilled health care is the reason why women come down with obstetric fistula, and other birth complications.
“It is very essential that pregnant women are referred immediately to the health centre during labour so they can receive emergency obstetric care when needed”, he said.
The Country Project Manager, Engender health, Chief Iyeme Efem, had requested that the Emir should encourage his counsels to ensure that women in the community go for ante-natal care during pregnancy and also deliver at the healthcare facility.
” We need you to use your good office to help speak to the women to use the Comprehensive primary health care centre during pregnancy and delivery. There is also need to speak to the community to stop harmful practices such as female genital cutting. And there is need to ensure appropriate referral for women in labour”, he said.
Chief Iyeme, said he is in the state for another round of pooled fistula repairs which has brought Fistula Surgeons from across the country to repair fistula clients free of charge at Sobi Specialist Hospital, Ilorin and urged women leaking urine or feaces to take advantage of the exercise.
Chief Iyeme sought the support of the Emir in strengthening advocacy on the elimination of harmful practices capable of making women to develop fistula.
He particularly charged traditional rulers and religious leaders in Shonga to be advocate of seeking proper health care during and after pregnancy among women in the area.
In his response, Dr. Yahaya, commended USAID for the sponsorship of free fistula repairs in Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole.
He promised to work with his counsels to ensure that pregnant women are promptly taken to the health centre during labour. He appealed to his counsels and community members to ensure that pregnant women visit the centre at least four times during ante-natal.