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    NMA decries increase in mortality rate in Zamfara

    The Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara on Thursday lamented the increasing mortality rate in the state.
    The Vice Chairman of the Association, Dr Manir Bature, made the observation while presenting a paper at a town hall meeting with governorship candidates of five political parties in the state.
    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the town hall meeting was organised by the Advocacy Nigeria, in collaboration with Mac Arthur Foundation, WRAPA.
    The theme of the meeting is “Our Government, Our Health”.
    Bature said the state had Women of Child Bearing Age population of 1,014,136 and records 11,000 Child Maternal Deaths annually.
    He said 30 pregnant women were dying daily according to survey conducted by Maternal and Newborn Child Health in 2017.
    He said the state was facing gross inadequate manpower and equipment and inadequate funding by the government to health sector.
    He lamented that Zamfara, with a population of 4.7 million according to 2017 projection spread across the 14 local government areas, had only 345 medical doctors.
    He said: “Out of the number, 270 were concentrated in Gusau the state capital leaving the remaining 13 local government areas with just 75 doctors.
    “If not for donor agencies intervention, health care would have collapsed in Zamfara.”
    Bature appealed to government at all levels to wake up to their responsibilities and address the situation.
    The Project Officer, Advocacy Nigeria, Larai Jibrin, criticised the government for not paying deserving attention to the health sector.
    She said this made the country to fall below the World Health Organization standard.
    Ahmed said Nigeria was rated 187 out of 191 countries in terms of health care delivery with the third highest numbers of maternal mortality in the world.
    She said: “Sadly as of 2014, Zamfara state was worse with 1025 deaths for every 100,000 live birth.”
    She decried that Nigeria had never met African Union set benchmark for health of 15 per cent of a country budget.
    She said the federal government, in the 2018 budget, allocated N340 billion, representing 3.9 per cent of the N8.6 trillion budget.
    Earlier, the State Coordinator, Advocacy Nigeria, Malam Rabiu Sambo, said the townhall meeting was intended to create awareness on health situation in the state as the nation moved closer to the next general election that would usher in new leaders.
    Sambo also said the state government had not been giving the expected attention to the health care sector.

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