A Non Governmental Organisation which focuses on maternal health care in Nigeria, The #MaternalMonday Campaign project has campaigned for improved postnatal health care services to improve maternal particularly in the rural areas of the country.
In a press release sent to Pilot, the need for postnatal health care is as a backdrop of the high rate of newborn mortality which accounts for at least 1.16 million newborn deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.
It said although the African region has the highest rate of neonatal mortality in the world, it has shown the slowest progress so far in reducing neonatal deaths. However, there is hope. In the past year, the rate of policy change in African countries far exceeded expectations, providing opportunities to accelerate progress for maternal, newborn and child health.
It also stated that more than half of African babies who die, do so at home; and in rural Nigeria, the majority of women give birth at home, leading to high maternal and neonatal mortality rates.
It further noted that the absence of postnatal care creates a gap in the continuous integrated management of mothers and their newborn, adding that excessive bleeding, infections and postpartum depression are major causes of maternal deaths in the postnatal period, and are issues that need to be addressed.