Nnaya Eziyi, Umuahia
The wife of Abia state governor, Deaconess Nkechi Ikpeazu has expressed worry that Nigeria still records low infant and maternal mortality rate despite the government’s efforts to increase it.
Deaconess Ikpeazu stated this at the flag-off ceremony of the MTN Yellow Heart Awareness Initiative at the Michael Okpara Auditorium in Umuahia, the state capital.
She said this was worrisome against the background of the huge investments the government and other stakeholders had been making towards realising the objective.
She noted that since last year, the administration had through her office championed many health care initiatives including neonatal resuscitation, maternal new born, and child health.
Commending the MTN for embarking on the initiative, she added that her office would not relent in cooperating and encouraging similar interventions from other organisations.
According to the state First Lady, ” I am more pleased that the state is one of the six selected by the MTN for the pilot phase of the initiative,” assuring it of her supply for the effort.
The deaconess encourage mothers and mothers-to-be to use the opportunity of the awareness to learn about safer delivery and effective child care practices from the medical experts involved in it.
Speaking earlier, the coordinator of the programme, Mr. Victor Ogbu said investigations by the MTN indicate that the country was ranked second in low maternal and infant mortality rate worldwide.
Ogbu, who said this means that one out of every five children born in the country dies before the age of five, explained that this was the driving reason behind the initiative.
He added that beyond working on infrastructure development in the primary healthcare of the state, the MTN had been creating awareness on maternal and child care support.
Similarly, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. John Ahukana said one of the present administration’s major health policies was on improvements on both child and maternal care.