News The African Way

Maternal Deaths: Experts Task Northern Nigeria On Use Of Misoprostol To Address Cases

By Iliya Kure
imageKaduna (Nigeria) — State Governments in Northern Nigeria have been tasked on the use of misoprostol to reduce cases of maternal deaths due to bleeding.

A medical expert, Dr. Salamatu Kolo, who made the call in Kaduna, at a workshop on National Guidelines for community distribution of Misoprostol said the drug has been proven effective in the prevention and controlling of bleeding associated with childbirth.

“When taken immediately and appropriately after child delivery, it can reduce the risk of postpartum haemorrhage by between 24 to 47 per cent.” She said.

Kolo expressed concern that the Northern region records the highest burden of maternal deaths in the country, asking the governments to act wisely in reducing such deaths.

“It provides a unique opportunity to improve maternal health and accelerate equity in access to life saving drugs for maternal health.

“Misoprostol has the potential to transform the management of post-partum haemorrhage, both at the health facility level and within communities, by allowing women to administer the drug themselves.

Coordinator of Population and Reproductive Health Initiative (PRHI), organisers of the workshop, Professor Oladipo Shittu, said the organisation aims at providing life saving medication to help reduce the high burden of maternal mortality resulting from home deliveries in northern Nigeria.

He said, the workshop was to equip health officials in the northern region with various skills to save the lives of women during child birth.

He said following research, the NGO had embarked on the distrubution of misoprostol drugs to women in some northern communities in an effort to stem the tide of maternal deaths.

“Not only has this study continued to save and protect women from unnecessary deaths, its outcome promted the Federal Government and WHO to change the previous policy, restricting the use misoprostol to health facilities and skilled birth attendants, he said.

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