Aisha Buhari, wife of the president and Nigerian first lady, says about 9.2 million Nigerian women and girls get pregnant every year — and an “alarming” number of them die due to causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Speaking at the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Forum in Abuja on Friday, Mrs Buhari, who was represented by Mairo Al Makura, said something must be done to reduce maternal deaths in Nigeria.
“Pregnancy, as we all know, is a very risking time for women. Every year, about 9.2 million Nigerian women and girls get pregnant. Out of this 9.2 million, every 13 minutes we lose one and every day we lose 109 women,” she said.
“This number is too alarming, and we really need to do something about it,” she said.
Mairo said: “That is why the wife of the president has taken it so passionately; she has a clinic for women and children in Daura, before the one she did in Yola, just to alleviate the problems women face during pregnancy and childbirth.
“Women, like we all know, are the backbone of the society; if we get it right with the women folks, we are the better for it on the African continent.”
She asked that policies be enhanced to for the safe delivery of women, eliminate poverty, and ensure basic primary education.
“We should empower women; like I said, women, when we get it right, things go right for everybody. The government should try and eradicate extreme poverty. The government should also try to make a policy where basic primary education is necessary.”
She argued that when women are educated, they would know how to take care of themselves and their children.
Nigeria is projected to take over India as the country with the highest number of under-five deaths in the world.
Here is a quick fact sheet about maternal deaths in Nigeria.