Adewole Folorunsho, vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan, on Tuesday said on a yearly basis, about 40,000 women in Nigeria die during pregnancy.
Folorunsho, who is one of the ministerial nominees, said this during his screening at the national assembly.
Describing health indicators in Nigeria as “worrisome”, the nominee expressed worry that Nigeria was one of the countries with the largest number of new-borns with HIV.
“A foremost reproductive health expert once asked why we treat our women and children as disposables,” he said.
Folorunsho said if confirmed as a minister, he would be committed to preventing maternal and infant mortality as well as HIV/AIDS and cancer.
He called for concerted effort from all Nigerians to improve the health status of women and children as well as that of men.
Folorunsho said conscious effort must be made to tackle the problems in the health sector, particularly with regards to women and infant mortality in the country.
“We should also create platforms to educate women to say no to sex,” he said.
“About 40 to 50 percent of abortions carried out are because of deformed pregnancies.
“The life of the Nigerian girl is very important; they need proper education on unregulated pregnancies.”
He also expressed his readiness to mobilise funds to the health sector as well as ensuring training and re-training of health personnel.
The ministerial nominee noted that upgraded medical facilities would reduce the number of Nigerians rushing outside the country to seek medical help.
Speaking on the recent ranking of Nigerian universities, the vice-chancellor said they were not as bad as portrayed.
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