Posted on: Thu 23-05-2024

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health to issue directives enabling free medical treatment for pregnant women during and after delivery in public healthcare institutions and implement routine checks to ensure continuity,  by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

The lawmakers further mandated its Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to invite the Hon. Minister of Health to propose a solution to this innovative trend and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the Need to Allow Pregnant Women to Access Free Medical treatment from Public Health Institution During and after Delivery moved by  Hon. Mohammed Dan Abba Shehu at plenary yesterday.

Shehu noted that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity with supplied drugs, equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters, which was not restricted to pregnant women in the nation, but their efforts to encourage free treatment have not fully realised.

He informed the House that the government allocated an annual budget to public healthcare institutions to fund healthcare service delivery to the citizens, particularly pregnant women whose families could not at ford medical treatment during pregnancy and childbirth.

Noting that 2019 statistics report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed that the fertility rate in the 2019 population of 200, 963, 599 was 5.67%; in 2018, 195,874,683 represented 5.67%; in 2017, 190,873,244 represented 5.67%; and in 2016, the (total population of 186,960.241 represented 5.67% of the fertility rate of childbirth in the country, he said this indicated the need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate.

The lawmaker stressed that Nigeria was grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polo virus.