The Federal Government has ordered an independent enquiry into the alleged death of a pregnant woman at the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Niger State.
The order was delivered by the Minister of State for Heath, Dr. Muhammad Pate, on Friday, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media and External Relations, Mr. Tashikalmah Hallah, in Abuja.
Pate had commended the management of the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, for the prompt action taken after the incident, but insisted that a thorough investigation into the matter must be conducted.
Hallah, however, told the News Agency of Nigeria in a telephone interview that the woman died on February 24, after child birth and the family felt the death was due to negligence.
The minister said the incident offered an opportunity to address some of the systemic issues plaguing the health sector and ensure that that never happened again. The investigation, Pate said, would be concluded in three weeks and action would be taken.
“The ministry is taking the issue of maternal deaths very seriously and it is unacceptable for the country to continue to lose pregnant women during child birth, my sincere condolences go to the family.
“A major policy thrust of the ministry is the focus on improving the quality of care through better clinical governance.”
Pate said the objective of the initiative was to address quality in three principal ways such as ensuring patient safety. The minister added that care should be provided in a way that was responsive to the needs of the patients and respectful of their privacy and that all patients should also be treated with dignity.
“We have put in place a task team to drive efforts to ensure that we safeguard the safety of patients and the quality of care provided,” he added.