The maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria is among the highest in the world. However, ‘most of these deaths could be prevented with attainable resources and skills’ (WHO). A key component of the Safe motherhood Initiative is the eradication of anaemia during pregnancy..
Anaemia in pregnancy is an important contributory factor to the unacceptably high maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria. It reduces a woman’s ability to survive bleeding during and after childbirth and may result in premature and/or lower birth weight babies with a higher risk of death. About 40-60% of Nigerian women are often anaemic during pregnancy and it accounts for about 11% of maternal deaths. Ignorance, poverty, poor nutrition, malaria, hook worm infestation , HIV/AIDS and other socio cultural factors are the major causes of anaemia in pregnancy. The devastating consequences of anaemia affect not only the pregnant woman but increases perinatal and infant morbidity and mortality. In addition, while being treated for severe anaemia, some women may inadvertently be exposed to unsafe blood transfusion and subsequent infection with the Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other transfusion transmissible infections. (Transfusion of unsafe blood accounts for up to 10 percent of new HIV infections in Nigeria). This Program therefore aims at reducing maternal death by improving maternal health with focus on the prevention of Malaria & Anaemia during Pregnancy as well as the Prevention of anaemia in adolescent girls before childbearing