Mamaye, LASG educate Amuwo-Odofin community on good maternal health

An NGO, Mamaye and the Lagos State Government on Friday said there was need for increased sensitisation on the importance of good maternal health and family planning (FP).

The two bodies made the assertion at the “Lagos State Community Sensitisation on Maternal, Newborn, Child Health (MNCH) Activities’’ at Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Council headquarters in FESTAC Town, Lagos State.

The World health organization (WHO) says maternal health is the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.

Dr Saidat Okaga, representing the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Primary Healthcare, said the lack of understanding of good health for pregnant women had adverse effects on them and their children.

According to her, regular attendance to ante-natal clinics, strict adherence to instructions by healthcare attendants, exercise and good nutrition are important in observing good health during pregnancy.

She urged women to be aware of the danger signs in pregnancy and advised that prompt medical attention be sought once observed.

“There is need for women to be aware of the danger signs in pregnancy; it will help in the management of their condition and saving the lives of the mother and baby.

“Such signs include shortness of blood, severe abdominal pains, fever, excessive weakness, severe headache and blurred vision, reduced or no movement of baby, seizures and drainage of fluid from the vagina.

“Unusual swelling of feet, hands and face, any form of bleeding or spotting, lower abdominal pains before 37 weeks, excessive weight gain, shortness of breath, severe diarrhea and vomiting are also danger signs.

“Pregnant women, relatives and friends should immediately take them to a health facility if any of these is observed,’’ Okaga, who is the Director of FP and Coordinator, Reproductive Health, Lagos State’s Ministry of Health said.

Also, Mrs Olukotan of the Lagos State Ministry of Health said that Family Planning was important in improving the lot of mothers, children, fathers and society at large.

“The importance of Family Planning cannot be over-emphasised. It is not only good for the mother; it is also good for the husband, children and the society.

“Family Planning has to do with planning and spacing the number of children that one can adequately cater for.

“It gives room for a woman to recover from the last pregnancy, for close bonding between mother and child; it also gives room for the father to recover financially.

“Family Planning also helps to control unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing the incidence of abortion and maternal deaths,’’ she said.

According to Olukotan, there are many types of family planning methods, including contraceptives, Intra-Uterine Devices (IUDs)injectibles, implants and condoms.

She advised women to visit their nearest health facility for evaluation and counselling before adopting any of the family planning methods.