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Maternal mortality has been described as a reflection of failure in governance and a challenge that restraint the “legally guaranteed right to life” as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and other international legal instruments.
“Maternal mortality is one challenge that constrains the legally guaranteed right to life by the Nigerian citizens,” says Ibrahim Zikirullahi, the executive director of Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, CHRICED, a non-governmental organization.
“Maternal deaths in the cause of child births show the severe limitations of our healthcare system as well as a reflection of the failure of governance.”
Zikirullahi, who was speaking during the public presentation of CHRICED’s report on maternal health practices in Gwale and Kumbotso local government areas of Kano state, northwestern Nigeria on Sunday, said every minute, one expectant mother died of complications relating to pregnancy or child birth and urged the general public to “resist the temptation to treat this information as a mere statistics”.
“This figures,” he said: “Helps us understand the scale of the problem and is a clarion call to action. In the course of our work in the two local government areas (Gwale and Kumbotso) in Kano state, we have come across some mind boggling stories, which have convinced us beyond any iota of doubt that this is an important cause to pursue.”
CHRICED’s local governance development project is aimed at combating the scourge of maternal mortality by tapping the latent power of citizens towards ensuring robust civic participation and bringing about clear-cut changes in their social conditions.