The immediate past Governor of Ondo state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has advised the Nigerian Government to pay critical attention to the high rate of maternal mortality in the country.
Mimiko gave the advise while speaking with newsmen, on Friday, at the Chatham House in London after delivering a paper on “Improving Access to Health Services for All” using his Ondo achievement in maternal and child health as a case study.
The former Ondo governor said funding will never be adequate in any human setting but with the right kind of leadership, the country can drastically reduce maternal mortality, which is about 19 percent of global maternal deaths according to the World Bank.
“We must call a major stakeholders’ meeting where there will be an agreement on a universal health package that every state in the country can afford, and create an eligibility criteria for those who build on it so that they can be rewarded accordingly and eventually we will get there. As we do this, we prioritise safe motherhood and child health” he said.
Mimiko also took time to demonstrate how his administration as Governor of Ondo state midwifed a functional and effective healthcare delivery system, which attracted local and international recognitions as a proven method of reducing maternal mortality, particularly with the introduction of his home-grown initiatives such as Abiye (Safe motherhood) program, Agbebiye and Orirewa that crashed the maternal mortality indices in the state.
The former governor charged Nigerian leaders at every level not to see only physical structures as achievement, saying quality healthcare for women is a great empowerment tool.
“Safe motherhood is a gender parity tool. Every woman wants good life. They will be empowered if they can have access to quality health without catastrophic spending. What will eventually drive universal health coverage in Africa is the political will and that is what will generate passion and its the passion that will attract donors from around the world,” Mimiko stated.
Also present at the event were Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, stakeholders in the health sector from Nigeria and Africa who came to discuss how to optimize global opportunities in achieving Universal Health Coverage and Health Security in Nigeria.