….Celebrates Reduction in Maternal Mortality in Edo Central Hospital

Benin- The Vice Chancellor of the first university of Medical Sciences in Nigeria and founder of Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC), Prof. Friday Okonofua, has described the outgoing Chief Medical Director of Central Hospital, Benin City, Dr Philip Ugbodaga as the best Chief Medical Director in Nigeria.
Prof. Okonofua made the remarks as the Special Guest of Honour at a grand comprehensive pregnancy care programme in Edo State’s apex hospital, Central Hospital, Benin City. He described Dr Ugbodaga as an embodiment of commitment and dedication to women’s health and praised his unparalleled leadership in steering the successes recorded in the hospital in the past two years.
In his review of WHARC’s project activities and outcomes in the hospital since November 2017 in collaboration with the hospital management, Prof. Okonofua noted that Nigeria’s maternal mortality ratio was unacceptably high whereas the majority of maternal deaths could be averted with timely access to quality emergency obstetric interventions as majority of maternal deaths occurred around labour, delivery and within 24 hours postpartum.

In his words, “The results of a study carried amongst eight hospitals in four geo-political zones in Nigeria in 2015 revealed that Central Hospital, Benin City had the highest maternal mortality ratio of 1,469 per 100,000 births while Adeoyo Hospital Ibadan had the lowest ratio of 177 per 100,000 births. The series of intervention activities after Consensus with key stakeholders which started in November 2017 in Central Hospital, Benin City and included, the Development of a 2 year strategic operation plan to reduce maternal mortality by 50% by December 2019; Development of computerised appointment system to reduce waiting time during antenatal visits; Establishment of maternal and perinatal death surveillance review and response (MPDSR) to investigate the cause of maternal death; Blood donation drive to reduce the short supply of blood; Training of healthcare providers on postpartum heamorrhage, eclampsia and obstructed labour; Development of protocol on the management of postpartum heamorrhage, eclampsia and obstructed labour and the Establishment of couple’s health Education on pregnancy and delivery care has impacted positively on maternal mortality in the hospital by reducing maternal mortality from 1,469 per 100,000 births to 400 per 100,000 births.

Prof. Okonofua, himself a world-renowned Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and former Executive Director of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) was elated that the dogged commitment of the Medical Director, Dr Philip Ugbodaga to the various initiatives resulted in the positive outcome recorded in such a short time and solicited the continuation of the programme by his successor.
Earlier in his remarks, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Philip Ugbodaga commended the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC) for their assistance and collaboration in maternal health issues in the hospital and noted that his greatest joy was the reduction in maternal mortality during his tenure even as he described the comprehensive pregnancy care programme in Central Hospital, Benin City that brings pregnant women and their spouses together as the first of such interventions in any hospital setting Nigeria.
Dr. Ugbodaga is expected to step down as the Chief Medical Director of Central Hospital, Benin at the end of May, 2019 following the end of his tenure in office.
The programme had in attendance Prof. Joseph Balogun of the Chicago State University; Dr Wilson Imogan, a former Commissioner for Health in Edo State and the Executive Director of Women’s Health and Action Research Centre (WHARC), senior hospital management staff amongst others.

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