By Morenike Taire
Expectant mothers in Lagos State have been advised to always attend ante-natal sessions and to cultivate good personal hygiene during pregnancy and after delivery. The advice came from the wife of the Lagos State governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, when her foundation, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative, HOFOWEM, distributed gift items to 230 expectant mothers in Alausa, Ikeja.
The foundation according to her, was her pet project, primarily concerned with uplifting the welfare of widows, children, youths and aged women. She noted that basic hygiene and good sanitary habits for pregnant women could play a key role in reducing maternal and infant mortality.
According to her, ‘All too often, infants are usually at risk of infection, diarrhea, poor growth and many common diseases associated with unhygienic habits. The act of washing hands is so simple, yet we do not see it as a game-changing solution”.
She disclosed that mothers have a key role to play in the health-for-all aspiration of the State government. Mrs. Ambode applauded the government’s grassroots health policy, which has ensured the building of primary health centres in almost every neighbourhood of the state.
Also speaking, the commissioner for health Dr. Jide Idris and the special adviser on primary health, Dr. Femi Onanuga, both listed government’s interventions towards eliminating maternal and child mortality to include free ante natal care, free delivery packs, and free insecticide nets among others.
They commended the foundation’s efforts on women and children-related issues. The foundation did its maiden empowerment programme on March 7th, this year, when widows, sick women and mothers with multiple births, were supported in various ways.
The event witnessed the distinguished presence of the chairman, house committee on health, Hon. Segun Olulade, State Executive Members, permanent secretaries in the state’s public service and captains of industry. Beneficiaries of the support programme were drawn from the 20 local government and 37 development areas of the state.
230 pregnant women…
Meanwhile, it was joy and jubilation galore when the First Lady distributed mother care kits to over 230 pregnant women aimed at complementing government efforts at achieving zero infant maternal mortality rate in the state.
At the event held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja, a total of about 230 pregnant women were given complete delivery packs which include: Baby and mother beds, sanitary pads, towels, beverages, thermometer, shawl, diapers, breastfeeding net, traveling bed, sanitizers, amongst others.
Speaking at the programme tagged, “Support For Expectant Mothers,” organized by Hope For Women In Nigeria Initiative,(HOFOWEM), which is her pet project, Ambode said the state government was determined to stem maternal mortality rate in the state irrespective of the harsh economic situation in the country.
According to her, the backbone of everything is good health urging the mothers to execute basic personal hygiene and also keep good sanitary conduct.
Ambode continued, “I believe that good health is the back bone of everything. The healthy are more productive and innovative. All too often, infants are usually at risk of infections, diarrhea, poor growth and many common diseases associated with un-hygienic habits.”
“My dear expectant mothers, one of the main reasons you are here is to get proper advice and direction on basic ante and post natal care for yourself and your infant.” She added.
The beneficiaries, drawn from all parts of the State, were also lectured by experts on how to achieve safe delivery and other issues relating to healthy living.
Registration of birth
Educating the mother about birth certificate, the state Director, Nigeria Population Commission Mrs. Olusola Osideko, urged women, to register their children after delivery. She said that this would help the government to be accountable to the number of children given birth to in the country.
Osideko said, “Baby first’s right is the Birth certificate after delivery and naming ceremony, but parents do not care about it.”
Earlier, HOFOWEM Coordinator, Ms Oyefunke Adeleke commended Ambode for being a permanent fountain of kindness to women and children in the state, adding that the programme was one of the numerous initiatives aimed at significantly helping women and children.
Emotions were let loose as tears of joy flowed freely from some beneficiaries in appreciation of the first lady’s gesture when they received the care-kits one after the other.
One of the beneficiaries, who simply identified herself as Mrs. Joy, expressed appreciation saying, “This care-kit will go a long way in reducing the burden on my family. This is a laudable project that other wealthy Nigerians should emulate to help expectant mothers towards safe delivery and wellbeing of both mother and child.”