Cellphones reduce maternal mortality by 30 percent

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Abiye Safe Motherhood Project focus on improving maternal and child health.

Two years following the launch of Abiye Safe Motherhood Project and the Mother & Child Hospital initiatives, significant improvement in the healthcare is evident, says Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dayo Adeyanju.

The project, focused on improving maternal and child health in Nigeria?s Ondo State, has seen 30 percent reduction in maternal mortality, according to Adeyanju.

Based on deployment of mobile phones to enable communication between the nursing or expectant mothers with their health service providers, the project was initiated to discover the plight of the women within the Nigerian state.

An earlier study, according to Adeyanju, had found that the number of women who attend and ?deliver? at the basic health centres were appalling prompting the state government, through Abiye Safe Motherhood Project and the Mother and Child Hospital Projects, to monitor the women.

Mobile phones were distributed to the registered expectant women within the Ondo state as a way of luring them back to the healthcare facility.

Adeyanju said that under Abiye, the project distributed the phone to the women for free as it was the only way they could stay connected to their health service providers. The mothers could also be monitored and incase they experienced contractions be asked back to the facility.

The use of the mobiles phones are expected to further reduce maternal mortality rate by 75 percent by 2015.

Also, the project saw nearly 1220 babies delivered in a single year with one mortality reported.

This is 1 in 100,000 live births, Adeyanju says, if we extrapolate, it will give 100 per 100,000 live births and for Nigeria as we speak, the average maternal mortality ratio is 545 by 100,000 live births.

?So we have crashed from 545 to 100 in one year,? Adeyanju said

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