Abuja - The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has commenced the training of 11 100 rural health workers on the basic principles of essential obstetrics care to improve maternal and child health.
The National President of the group, Dr Chiedozie Achonwa, stated this on Tuesday at the opening of a two-day workshop on essential obstetric care and neo-natal resuscitation.
He said the aim of the workshop was to train members on new methods of obstetric care and neo-natal resuscitation so as to reduce maternal and child mortality.
"This year, we have taken the initiative to see the possibility of training 11 100 rural health care workers in two years between 2012 and 2013.
"The first step is to start with 100 members on essential obstetric care in ensuring that trained skilled workers are available from pregnancy to the time when the woman is put to bed."
Achonwa said that the trained workers would need to understand how to deliver babies in order to reduce pregnancy-related deaths.
He said that what was currently obtainable is to change the method whereby children were beaten in an unhealthy manner while trying to resuscitate them.
The association president said it was important that lives were saved to meet health-related Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).
Speaking at the event, the Minster of Health, Dr Onyebuchi Chukwu, commended the group for organising the training, saying that all hands must be on deck to improve the lives of women and children.
The minister, who was represented by Dr Alex Onoyona, a Director in the ministry, said that government was doing all it could to ensure that maternal and infant mortality were reduced.
Also speaking, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele, said it was important that government at all levels committed more funds to ensuring the attainment of the MDGs.
According to him, the possibility of attaining the MDGs is doubtful, stressing that there must be concerted efforts at meeting the targeted goals.
Enabulele said the outcome of the training would impact positively on rural communities, adding that it was only through investment in primary health care that Nigeria could develop.