Gynaecologists Chart Path to Reducing Infants and Maternal Mortality in Nigeria


Worried by the alarming rate of infants and maternal mortality in the country, prominent obstetricians and gynaecologists have proffered insights into unravelling the perennial challenge, as they converged at the main auditorium of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Yaba, Lagos, to deliberate on the subject and provided solutions to  infants  and maternal deaths in Nigeria.

The eminent gynaecologists and guests, who graced the formal presentation of the four books written by Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Aigbe Gregory Ohihoin of NIMR, were: Emeritus Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie; Prof. Bomi Ogedengbe, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabanwo;  Dr Oliver Ezechi; Dr Titi Gbajabiamila; Hon. Justice Y.O Idowu; Hon. Justice Funmilayo Atilade;  Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director General, NIMR; and others.

According to Emeritus Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie, one of the factors responsible for  infants and maternal mortality  is old wives tales, which have been  passed down to younger women, and  consequently prevent them from seeking care during pregnancy, until complications set in.

“In as much as we are taking time to address these myths, we want everyone to know that pregnancy is not a disease.  If only pregnant women will take it serious, attend antenatal care; follow their doctors advices, nearly ninety-five percent of pregnancies will be delivered successfully without complications. However, it’s the remaining five percent nobody knows where they are.

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“Unfortunately, most times, when some of these pregnant women who had initially neglected antenatal care are brought to the hospitals, it’s either the baby is dead or the mother is in a serious condition. This is why I recommend the book “What Mama didn’t tell you about pregnancy-the myth, the truth and the lie”, for  every woman, who desires to carry her pregnancy to term successfully”, he remarked.

L-R: Dr Esther Ohihoin, wife to the author; Hon. Justice Funmilayo Atilade; Emeritus Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie;, Dr Aigbe Gregory Ohihoin of NIMR, author; and Hon. Justice Y.O Idowu at the book launch.

Speaking with the author in an exclusive chat during the programme, he explained how a study conducted in the US, has shown that an average black pregnant woman is predisposed to more complications than her white counterpart.

“Even in the US, where they have access to the best healthcare facilities, they have access to the best doctors, and they are well educated with good socio-economic status, but the study found that the outcome of a black woman’s pregnancy will be worse than that of an average white woman with the same standard. And I discovered that black pregnant women will have more complications than their white counterparts”, he noted.

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L-R:Emeritus Prof. Osato Giwa-Osagie; Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director General, NIMR; Mr Yunusa Zauza; and Dr Nkiruka Odunukwe, head, NCD Research Group, NIMR at the event.

Dr Ohihoin, who identified preeclampsia as one of the reasons for infants and maternal mortality, recommended earlier diagnosis of pregnancy and early antenatal registration as keys to overcoming this challenge.

“One of the reasons for this occurrence is hypertensive complications in pregnancy known as preeclampsia, and it runs in more aggressive force in black women. The implication is that black pregnant women should be given more attention than an average pregnant white woman, because she has a higher risk of pregnancy complications. Earlier diagnosis of pregnancy and earlier antenatal registration is the key to overcoming this challenge”, he revealed.

While giving his opening remarks, the NIMR DG, who was the chairman of the occasion, commended the author for his rigorous research into present and past literatures to churn out four books at once. Giving his  appraisal on the books, he listed them as follows:  Step by step approach to obstetrics & gynaecological ultrasonography;  Bullet point answers to exam questions in obstetrics; Bullet point answers to exam questions in gynaecology and What Mama didn’t tell you about pregnancy-the myth, the truth and the lie.

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Prof. Salako who described all the four books as great tools for health practitioners, said the “Step by step approach to obstetrics & gynaecological ultrasonography”, will be an indispensable book to expose practitioners on the field of ultrasonography to the nitty-gritty of the job, as the ultra scan is operative dependent.

Aside from building capacity for practitioners, he said the book will help a great deal in improving labour, while reducing the incidence of infant and maternal mortality in the country.

Regarding the books “Bullet point answers to exam questions in obstetrics and Bullet point answers to exam questions in gynaecology”, the NIMR boss said  the author has put his experiences into book to assist residents and senior resident doctors, in achieving better results in their examinations.

For the book, “What Mama didn’t tell you about pregnancy-the myth, the truth and the lie”, he asserted that it is a wealth of tangible information for women of pregnancy age, and fathers in such situations.







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