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WARDC urges NBA to develop interest in women’s rights

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WARDC urges NBA to develop interest in women’s rights

 

Worried by high rates of maternal mortality in some parts of Nigeria, Women Advocates and Research Documentation Centre (WARDC) has urged the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and its members to develop interest in women’s human rights and maternal health issues to successfully reduce maternal mortality.

WARDC Executive Director, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi while speaking during a two-day training for lawyers on rights-based perspectives in maternal health adjudication, litigation and other legal measures in handling maternal health cases, organised by WARDC in partnership with MacArthur Foundation in Lagos, said maternal issue was a human rights issue as government had obligations to ensure that women’s human rights were respected, promoted and protected.

She said: “Nigeria rate is second to India in maternal mortality. Even the reduction at 630 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in Nigeria still remains unacceptably high as we believe motherhood should be a positive and fulfilling experience. Hence, it should not be associated with ill-health and even death that are especially easily preventable.

“It is our belief that beyond the much touted medical and social reasons for maternal deaths, preventable and needless deaths of women at childbirth constitute a violation of fundamental rights, including right to life and right to family life.

“We demand provision of quality maternal health services which will contribute to significant reduction of mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.
Also at the event was a former chairman of the Ikeja branch of the NBA, Mr. Yinka Farounbi, who urged his colleagues to pick up interest in human rights cases, especially on women’s rights issues to reduce number of women dying before, during and after childbirth due to the negligence of the medical practitioners.

He, however, implored non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to partner with NBA to review acts relating to medical services in Nigeria for effective medical service delivery in the country as well as collaboration between medical practitioners and the NGOs to address maternal mortality.

“It is sad that women are dying while trying to give birth to another life. “There is general decay in the heath sector. The problem is not about maternity alone but many areas in the health sector. I believe government should address the problem of maternal mortality to reduce the number of women dying while trying to give birth to another life,” he said.

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