Recession not an excuse to neglect maternal mortality

CHRICED Intensifies Campaign Against Maternal Deaths

As Nigeria reels from the effects of a full scale economic recession, civil society activists are worried that key deliverables in the quest for good governance could suffer if citizens do not begin to make strident demands. The thinking is that even when the country was awash with excess cash at a time the price of oil was yet to dwindle, governance failed to rise up to the expectations of the people. In such critical areas as health, education and infrastructure, very little was on ground to show the quantum of monies that accrued to the country.

With the current crunch biting so hard therefore, the resolve among civic agencies is to galvanise citizens to make demands of those in control of the levers of state power and resources. Part of the push is to ensure those in control of state finances do not use the prevailing crunch as an excuse to dodge their responsibilities to the people. Achieving this task of holding government to account, for many activists, would only be possible if there are signature issues around which the people can be mobilised.

For the Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), a platform of active citizens, the poster issue of maternal health is being used to raise the banner in the clarion call for good governance. At intense four day series of events in Kano recently, the focus was on how best to propel citizen action towards demanding good governance, using the issue of maternal mortality. The event was graced with the presence of influential voices from the Kano Emirates Council. Magajin Rafin Kano and Haikimi Ramin Gado, Alhaji Shehu Mohammed, Haikimi (District Head) of Doguwa, Alhaji Aliyu Harazimi, and the Haikimi of Gwale, Alhaji Inuwa Abass, were all on hand to lend support to the cause of addressing the challenge of high maternal deaths in Kano.