By Mustapha Yauri
Prof. Oona Campbell, one of the lead authors of “Lancet Maternal Health Series’’, says rate of caesarean section in Nigeria is very low with less than 10 per cent of the women undergoing the process.
Campbell, Professor of Epidemiology and Reproductive Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
The don said Nigeria, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and India have similar rating by the Lancet Maternal Health Series.
She attributed the low rating to the lack of evidence-based guidelines and women delivering alone without skilled birth attendants.
She expressed the need for appropriate, timely, evidence-based, respectful care to enhance reproductive health system in the affected countries.
“Maternal health is affected by social, political, environmental and demographic changes.
“Health system innovations such as universal health coverage, behavioural economics and e-Health can be a leverage to improve maternal health,’’ she said.
Campbell, however, appealed for increase resilience and strength of health systems to guarantee sustainable financing for maternal health and improve the availability and use of local evidence to inform quality improvement.
She said the Lancet Maternal Health Series was launched during the just concluded 4th Nigeria Family Planning Conference in Abuja.
“The lancet maternal health series has earlier been launched at the side event of the UN General Assembly.
“The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, witnessed the launching of the document during the last UN General Assembly in New York,’’ she said.
Campbell added that the minister said the series did not talk a lot about Family Planning (FP); “and we have accepted the challenge’’.
She said family planning and maternal health are very tight in issues.
She said that under the leadership of its editors, Lancet have enormous convening powers, it has been able to bring people together to bring out a high impact academic journal.
Campbell added that the academics from various institutions were eager to publish in Lancet because of its fact checking and the quality of information they provide for publication in the journal.
However, she added that Lancet had some partners who are members of World Health Organisation (WHO) and other United Nation agencies who have been contributing to the series.
She further explained that because Lancet is not an official UN Journal, it usually have some statements around some particular issues.
According to her, Lancet was funded by USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and support from various academic institutions