As part of Ogun State government’s commitment to improve maternal health, a document to reduce preventable deaths among women of childbearing age and victims of domestic violence has been launched.
Speaking at the launch and dissemination of Ogun State Guidelines on Safe Termination of Pregnancy (STOP), for legal indications and standard medical management of victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Abeokuta, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker said the guidelines were meant to standardise and build capacity for medical professionals, for the well-being of pregnant women whose pregnancy could pose danger to their lives and physical health.
She added that the document provides best practices with regard to legal indications, pointing out that the absence of clear guidelines had stalled the effective implementation of medical service at appropriate levels of care resulting in deaths among women.
Coker noted, ‘’ I like to point out that this document is important for health care workers that encounter women in this category. It must be emphasised that Ogun State does not legalise abortion. What we are doing is giving standardised medical service for women that find themselves in certain situations such as rape, incest, cancer, and hypertension among others. There are legal situations where a pregnancy cannot continue, and what we are doing is to make sure these women have access to medical care’’.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Elijah Ogunsola said the dissemination of the policy further strengthened the commitment of the present administration to ensure the right to health of women, adding that it would also guarantee the coming generation of women the right to live meaningful reproductive life.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Country Director, IPAS, Mr. Lucky Pama and State Coordinator, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Victoria Adebiyi commended the State Government for priortising the health of women, saying the dissemination of the documents was a show of care, honour and respect for the vulnerable in the society.
Contributing, the Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Kunle Ashimi said the guidelines had created an opportunity for the reduction of maternal mortality in line with existing laws.