BABATUNDE Osotimehin, under-secretary-general of the United Nations, UN, and executive director of the UN Population Fund, UNFPA, said that it should no longer be acceptable for a woman to die during childbirth.
Osotimehin, who said this in an interview on the sidelines of an award dinner organised by the Nigeria Health Foundation in Newark, US, said people should insist that both local and state governments must deliver healthcare to them.
According to him, if people fail to hold government accountable as far as healthcare is concerned the nation’s health problems will continue to persist.
“In the present job I have, it is very painful for me that I would hear and I would see women die during childbirth, as minister and as a doctor.
“I have seen women die needlessly because they don’t have care and because they don’t get care.
“So a woman who is in labour goes into a care centre and she bleeds to death. This is totally unacceptable.
“Those are things that in present day world must not occur at all. These are not things we cannot prevent.
“We cannot and should not ever leave everything to the hands of the government,” he said.
A one-time Nigeria’s minister of Health, Osotimehin regretted that government had become disconnected from the people and urged well-meaning individuals and organizations to come to governments’ aid.
“We must take charge of our lives and of our people and I want us to all go back to our communities; make sure that we connect with our people.
“We must make sure we hold our state and local government accountable to deliver care to our people so that at the end of the day, each one of them will have what they deserve in terms of healthcare.”
He pointed out that in Rwanda, the rate of maternal mortality had been drastically reduced, urging other African countries to learn from the country’s healthcare system.
— May 15, 2017 @ 11:15 GMT