A Gynaecologist, Dr Femi Olawore, has advised pregnant women to initiate early antenatal care to reduce complications and maternal mortality.
He gave the advice in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Wednesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
According to him, early initiation of antenatal care is very important as it allows early detection, management and prevention of problems that may occur during pregnancy and childbirth.
He said, “Pregnancy and childbirth are leading causes of death among Nigerian women. Antenatal care serves as a key entry point for pregnant women to receive adequate professional healthcare services for themselves and their unborn babies.
“Antenatal care is the medical attention provided to improve the health of the mother and unborn baby. The World Health Organisation recommends that antenatal care should start in the first trimester or 12 weeks of gestation.”
Dr. Olawore, however, said many pregnant women in Nigeria place low value on antenatal care and have limited access to maternal care, noting that this makes many of them to deliver their babies in places that are not healthcare facilities.
“WHO data shows that Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate is 814 per 100,000 live births,” he added.