By Ayo Kehinde
Baby Amao in his crib surrounded by parents and Lagos First Lady, Dr Sanwo-Olu, third from left.
Of the three male children delivered at different hours and locations in Nigeria on New Year’s Day, Baby Amoo, a male who weighed 3kg, delivered at exactly 12:01am by Mrs Tomilola Amao, became the first. He was born at Mushin General Hospital in Lagos.
Another baby, a male who weighed 4.35kg was delivered at 2:38am by Mrs.Onumba Foluke at Alimosho General Hospital, also in Lagos, while in Abuja at the Primary Health Center in Karu, baby Aliu Adamu was delivered at 3.3 am
Speaking at the Lagos event, First Lady, Dr Sanwo-Olu, congratulated the Amao family, saying, “this did not happen by chance and while the mothers take care for a healthy delivery, the state must take care of maternal-child safety through the implementation of various interventions.”
The Lagos state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, at the General Hospital Igando, said the baby of the Year programme was a symbolic event.
Abayomi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, said, “For us in the Ministry of Health, the First Baby of the Year is a symbolic event. As a state, the very first activity of the government every year is seen to focus on health care.
“Its significance is demonstrated by the priority it is given, with the visit of the wife of our Governor and the many important dignitaries, who could have been elsewhere, but have chosen to spend their first few hours of the new year here in our public hospitals. They make it a duty to be here to rejoice with our mothers on the birth of their children and that, in itself, speaks volumes.”
“It is worth stating that the Ministry of Health is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that our residents have access to services that promote health and wellbeing. And part of its obligations is to strengthen structures, improve programmes and expand services that help reduce neonatal and infant mortality and ensure safe motherhood. As such, events like this give our dignitaries the chance to evaluate where we are, as against the year before and recognise opportunities to create partnerships that can further improve service outcomes”, he added.
The proud father, Mr Amao, simply said; “ I give thanks to God.”
In Abuja, Nigeria’s First Lady Aisha Buhari, who was represented by former First Lady of Nasarawa state, Mrs Amakura, said,” it is joyful to have a baby”, adding that “they are leaders of tomorrow who should be given a head start in life by, “taking all the immunization and post-natal care to make it better for them to cope.”