By Gabriel Ewepu
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, operator of the NPDC/SEPLAT Joint Venture, has held its annual Safe Motherhood Initiative medical outreach.
The Safe Motherhood Initiative outreach which was held at Sapele, Delta State, the operational base of Seplat’s Western Assets, is put together annually to address the needs of pregnant women in host communities.
The programme directly closes the need for quality maternal and child health care. (According to the World Health Organisation (2010), the infant mortality rate in Nigeria is 71.20 deaths per 1000 live births and a woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy and childbirth is one in three.
The Safe Motherhood Initiative serves as an opportunity to equip expectant mothers with safe pregnancy and child care tips in order to address the issue of child and maternal mortality. At Safe Motherhood outreaches, mothers and pregnant women are educated on proper nutrition, personal and child hygiene, child spacing among other important tips to guide them through the critical period of pregnancy.
Apart from providing life saving tips and training, essential drugs and insecticide treated mosquito nets and maternity bags are handed to all expectant mothers.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Emmanuel Otokhine, Base Manager, Western Assets, SEPLAT, who represented Mr. Austin Avuru, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, the General Manager, External Affairs and Communications, stated that the initiative formed part of Seplat’s agenda to positively impact the lives of the people of its operational areas across the country.
“The programme has been impactful in the reduction of maternal and child mortality in our communities through the upgrade and renovation of a 30 bed female and pediatric ward at the Central Hospital in Sapele, the provision of safe delivery kits, insecticide treated nets and distribution of supplements and vitamins. The Safe Motherhood programme helps Nigeria meet up with SDG 3 which promotes good health and well-being,” he said.