Ratidzai Ndhlovu, Nigeria Country Director of the United Nations Population Fund, says no fewer than 100 women die daily across Northern Nigeria during childbirth.
Ndhlovu spoke on Thursday in Sokoto at a consultative meeting with the theme: “Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal Deaths in Northern Nigeria: The Role of the Traditional and Religious Leaders.”
Ndhlovu decried the high maternal mortality figure and stressed that collective efforts must be stepped up to redress the ugly trend.
She said: “No pregnant woman should be allowed to die while bringing a life into the world and they should be adequately protected.
“Traditional rulers, community and religious leaders should take census of all pregnant women in their areas, with a view to tracking the exact figure of maternal mortality.
“This would help in gingering all of us to step up measures to reduce the menace and save more pregnant mothers and their children from dying during childbirth.
“This would certainly help in reducing maternal mortality and even help to reduce it to a zero-level across the North.”
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, called for the building of capacities of more traditional birth attendants in the region.
Abubakar said the action would complement the efforts of the skilled midwives in health facilities.
He suggested that the traditional birth attendants “should be recruited by the three tiers of government and deployed to health facilities, to boost manpower provision”.
Dr. Ado Mohammed, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to provide good health facilities for women across the country.
The Sokoto State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Shehu Kakale, said government had set up a committee to see to the reduction of maternal mortality in the state.