Mrs. Ozioma arrived at the venue of the Nnadozie Foundation maternal health program in Umuahia, Abia State Nigeria looking pale and weak. She strolled into the hall and sat with other pregnant women as they waited for the program to start. The program soon kick-started with blood pressure checks for all participants. During the assessment it was discovered that Ozioma who was 6 months pregnant had a high blood pressure. She revealed that she had recently lost her husband and was yet to register for antenatal check-ups. She received counselling and was referred to the community health centre.
Thereafter, the participants received training from the Foundations resource persons, who are qualified medical personnel. They enumerated the importance and types of healthy diet during pregnancy, importance of regular antenatal and postnatal attendance, vaccinations, benefits of breastfeeding, importance of hygiene as well as the need to have qualified midwives during deliveries. After the training the participants received clean delivery kits containing items needed for a hygienic delivery such as delivery mats, sterile gloves, liquid antiseptic, cotton wool and more. They also received treated bed nets to protect from malaria caused by mosquito bites.
At the end of the program Ozioma and other women were equipped with the information and materials to support a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Ozioma has since been delivered of a baby girl and both mother and child are healthy and strong.
"Every 10 minutes one woman dies in Nigeria as a result of Child birth” (UNICEF). Nigeria has one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world.The uptake of routine immunization / vaccination remains poor due to several factors including lack of awareness on its importance and misconceptions. Statistics reveal that 33 percent of all neonatal deaths are attributed to infections—principally neonatal tetanus and sepsis. One of the main factors contributing to the high incidence of neonatal and maternal tetanus and sepsis is that the majority of deliveries take place under unhygienic circumstances.
Furthermore, malaria remains a foremost killer infection in Nigeria. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 11 per cent of maternal deaths in Nigeria are a result of malaria. Considering the important roles women play in families and society at large, it is pertinent to address these problems which threaten their well being and existence
Nnadozie Safety health and Empowerment project (S.H.E) addresses the above problems through a preventive and cost-effective service. This unique four- fold service provides preventive solutions to the leading causes of maternal mortality in Nigeria. It comprises:
1.Pregnancy health training- Provides pregnancy health information and sensitization in rural communities to promote health and increase antenatal/postnatal attendance, uptake of immunization/vaccination and delivery at health facility .
2.Blood Pressure checks: Women receive free blood pressure checks to ascertain their blood pressure levels and raise awareness on dangers of high blood pressure in pregnancy and the need for regular antenatal visits to keep track of this.
3.Provision of treated bed nets: Women receive insect treated bed nets to help prevent malaria which is caused by mosquito bites.
4. Clean delivery Kits: Provides essential items for hygienic delivery. The delivery kits contain high quality essential sterilized items required at childbirth to ensure women have a safe and hygienic delivery, in line with WHO principles for cleanliness at birth. It contains items such as, absorbent delivery mats, sterilized hand gloves, antiseptic liquid, cord ties, Cord cleaning product, Sterile cotton wool and soap. All Items used are NAFDAC approved.
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