The Emir of Shonga in Kwara State, Dr. Haliru Yahaya has said his emirate council will henceforth hold district heads and heads of household accountable for any maternal death in the community.
Dr Yahya said this in his palace during a Basic Orientation on Obstetric Fistula organised by USAID Fistula Care Plus Project for religious and traditional leaders in Shonga area of the state.
He expressed concern over the rate of child birth related deaths and complications in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
The Emir who is a medical doctor by profession advised women to attend ante natal care at least three times before their delivery date in order to avoid complications such as Fistula during child birth.
The traditional ruler promised that all his subjects would be mandated to account for any complications as a result of child birth in their domains, pointing out that both the government and the community have roles to play in eradicating the scourge of Fistula in Nigeria.
In his lecture, the Fistula Desk officer at the Kwara State Ministry of Health, Dr Arigidi called on every community leader to be supportive of pregnant women in avoiding delays in seeking health care, reaching health care facilities on time and receiving health care service at the provided facilities.
Arigidi described the death of a pregnant woman as a national tragedy, appealing to community leaders to assist pregnant women in accessing appropriate healthcare at health facilities.
He advised traditional and religious leaders to join in the campaign for encouraging pregnant women to attend ante natal regularly and allow skilled birth attendants to take their deliveries.
Another health facilitator on Family planning, Miss Ayo Daniels urged the gathering to imbibe child spacing in order to have healthy families.
On her part the Community Mobilisation Specialist for Fistula Care Plus Project, Amina Bala explained the roles of Fistula Care Plus Project in Nigeria to include discouraging stigmatisation of Fistula clients, providing counseling for women with Fistula, reintegration, advocacy and donation of medical equipment to health facilities.