40, 000 pregnant women die annually in Nigeria
No fewer than 40, 000 pregnant women in Nigeria lose their lives each year, the United States government said on Friday.
This was stated by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, while delivering a speech at the launch of the Healthmagination Mother and Child Initiative.
Entwistle noted that improvements in women and children's health are critical for Nigeria to meet the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
However, he noted that the state of primary health care in the country painted a dismal picture for the future of many children.
The US ambassador said, 'The excessively high maternal, neonatal, and under-five death rates are reflections of inadequate availability and access to quality health services.
'There are 40,000 maternal deaths per year in Nigeria. Many pregnant women delay seeking care until potentially life-threatening conditions arise. No mother should die from preventable causes. This partnership between the US government, Nigerian government and GE will identify at-risk pregnancies early and refer women to higher levels of care.'
According to him, the US, through the US Agency for International Development along with General Electric and the Federal Government will bring quality health services to millions of women and children in Nigeria to reduce the mortality rate during childbirth.
Entwistle said, 'This partnership demonstrates our commitment to engage in effective and innovative alliances with the private sector to support Nigeria's critical development needs.
'The US government, through USAID, has partnered with Nigeria for many years to improve health outcomes and educate people about the importance of health to economic growth. In this work, we support the direction of the Government of Nigeria and take after its lead in setting the priorities for developing health systems.'
The US ambassador to Nigeria added that GE was committed to improving the quality of life in Nigeria not only in the health care sector but also in areas such as education, entrepreneurship development, and humanitarian assistance.
He said, 'We look forward to continuing this partnership with the GE and the Government of Nigeria. Every dollar invested in health multiplies the benefits for productive activities.
'This partnership between the US government, Nigerian government, and GE will save lives. Together, we can support Nigeria's efforts to be a stable and prosperous country, built by healthy, strong people.'