Maternal mortality: Experts drum support for Safe Motherhood Campaign Initiative

Omolayo Alabi

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Some medical experts in Bayelsa have advised pregnant women to key into the Safe Motherhood Campaign Initiative of the State Government to tackle infant and maternal mortality rate.

The Director of Planning, Research and Statistics Primary Health Care Board, Dr Ebiakpo Agbedi gave this advice during an orientation programme in Yenagoa.

Agbedi said that the programme was organised by the state Ministry of Health for members of the Sensitisation Committee on Safe Motherhood.

He explained that the essence of the Safe Motherhood Initiative was to promote good health of mother and child across the communities.

The Bayelsa State had on July 31 launched its Safe Motherhood Initiative.

“The pregnant women participated in free ante-natal care; enrolees of the safe mother initiative will get free insecticide treated mosquito nets, HIV/AIDS screening, tetanus injection and routine immunisation.

Other benefits include free diagnostic tests, a monthly incentive of N3,000 from the point of registration into the programme which will last for two months after delivery,’’ Agbedi stated.

Director, Reproductive Health in the Ministry, Happiness Mass, also advised pregnant women on the importance of the programme.

Mass said that some of the reasons for the high infant and maternal mortality rate include infection of the newborn.

She added that the infection occurs especially around the stump of the umbilical cord and excessive bleeding during child birth.

Mass mentioned that the Ministry was collaborating with relevant stakeholders on ways of adopting a flexible approach to the routine of immunizing children.

The Programme Manager, Saving One Million Lives for Result, an NGO, Ebikapaye Okoyen said other benefits of enrolees in the programme include a N2,000 package at point of registration.

Okoyen added that a delivery kit after child birth was also included among other items.

The Chairman of the Sensitisation Committee, Chris Odi said the committee would work hard to spread the safe motherhood message, using the local dialects of the people for effect.

Omolayo.A