Dying women in Nigeria become a big concern

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According to the United Nations report, Nigeria has not done enough in the last four years to better the health indices of women.

The UN Committee on Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) also expressed concerns in their report about the ability of Nigeria to reduce its maternal mortality rate before the year 2015, which the UN has targeted for global improvement in its Millennium Development Goals.

The report, which formed part of concluding observations by the UN and CEDAW committees for 2008, also noted that no progress has been made in cutting down the high maternal mortality rate in the country, since the fourth and fifth periodic report in 2004.

The various causal factors the committee pointed out as include; unsafe abortions and inadequate post-abortion care, early marriages as well as child marriages, early pregnancies, high fertility rates and inadequate family planning services, low rates of contraceptive usage leading to unwanted and unplanned pregnancies as well as the lack of sex education. These, the report suggests, occur especially in rural areas that have received little attention from government in the recent past.

The panel also expressed concerns about the lack of access by women and girls to sufficient health-care services, including pre-natal and post-natal care, obstetric services and family planning information, particularly in rural areas.

The committee called on the delegation, which comprised CEDAW, Nigeria and NGO groups, to improve the availability and affordability of sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning information and services.

Health file  The lack of education and political will, poverty, out-moded traditional beliefs, to mention but a few, have been widely blamed for causing severe and sometimes unwarranted health catastrophies of genocidal proportions on the African continent. Child killer diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, water borne diseases, HIV/AIDS, among other preventable ailments have killed millions in their wake. As rightly said by the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, on May 13, 2000 "More people (...) died of Aids in the past year (1999-2000, ndlr) in Africa than in all the wars on the continent".
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