Monday , August 15 2022

Gynaecologist calls for concerted efforts to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria

Lagos – Dr Ajoke Ashiru, the Medical Director, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Badagry, on Wednesday urged stakeholders to collaborate with the government at all levels to reduce maternal mortality rate.
Ashiru, also a gynaecologist, made the plea at the public presentation of a film “Unspoken’’, produced by Singing Tree Films with the support of Ford Foundation in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the film, a feature film on youth sexuality and maternal mortality in Nigeria, would promote public awareness of social and health issues.
According to her, the film could not have come at a better time than now, more so when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) year is about to end.
“The film will assist in reducing maternal mortality rate as well as achieving the successful implementation of Vision 20:2020,’’ Ashiru said.
In her remarks, a creative filmmaker, Remi Richards, said that parents, youths and society at large should be made aware of the emotional and health risks of early sex and pregnancy in young girls.
Richards said that physical immaturity was the key risk for girls under 15 years.
“They are five times more likely to die or develop complications during pregnancy than women in their 20s,’’ she said.
Also speaking, a specialist in Development Communication, Chichi Ikpeama, said that the film was developed through a rigorous research process, from desk research, to audience research with the gynaecologists providing the health expertise.
Ikpeama, who is also the producer of the film, urged government at all levels to ensure that the films were broadly distributed to every nook and cranny of the country.
She said that the “Unspoken’’ team would in October tour 18 communities in the six geopolitical zones.
She said that the tour would avail the team of the opportunity to urge the private, public and civil society groups to take critical action on reducing maternal mortality rate.
Also, Prof. Paul Nwulu, the Programme Officer of Ford Foundation, said that the foundation believes in the power of the media and film to drive the necessary social change in the society.
“The Ford Foundation understands the power of visual storytelling in driving social change.
“We hope this film will educate, inform and entertain the audience,’’ Nwulu said.

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