From Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
Worried by the high maternal mortality rate in the country, wife of the Anambra State governor, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, has emphasized the need for support and provision of basic delivery kits to women in rural communities across the country.
Declaring this as the solution to the problem of high maternal mortality rate, the governor’s wife also counseled pregnant women to avoid patronising quacks and embrace regular antenatal visits at health centres.
Proffering these solutions when she embarked on a tour of Primary Healthcare Centres, where she distributed maternal delivery kits to pregnant women in Otuocha and Enugwu-Agidi in Anambra East and Njikoka local government areas last week, Mrs. Obiano said it was unacceptable for any woman to die carelessly during child birth in this modern time.
Addressing a large turnout of women at Otuocha and Enugwu-Agidi Health Centres separately, Mrs. Obiano insisted that no woman should be allowed to die at pregnancy or childbirth when opportunities are now available to pregnant women to avoid life-threatening complications during pregnancy, child birth or six weeks thereafter.
She noted that the avoidance of the patronage of quacks and regular antenatal visits at health centres are the safest and best options for all pregnant women.
She disclosed that her husband treats the welfare of women as priority and does not want to hear that any woman could not deliver safely in any part of the state, saying that this informed his resolve to renovate and rehabilitate 63 primary healthcare centres across the state:
“I have come to support the effort of our governor, Chief Willie Obiano at promoting the health and safe delivery of pregnant mothers with donation of delivery kits otherwise known as Mama Kit to some of you adjudged regulars at antennal clinics. The package I have is complete for safe child delivery; each pack contains all the tools needed by the midwives and health personnel and diaper, wrapper and mosquito net to protect mother and child from bites.
“I am also glad to note that the maternal death ratio of our state is improving consistently at 200 deaths per 100,000 deliveries which are below the national average which stand at 540 deaths per 100,000 deliveries.”
She appealed to the women to work hard to escape poverty by engaging in productive ventures that would assist their husbands and help sustain their families, urging them to take advantage of the opportunities available under the programmes of her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), which “adds value to the lives of women in our society.”
CAFÉ, she noted, had projects that provides succour and empowerment to indigent women and widows such as the “housing for indigent widows in each senatorial zone, the building of toilets in rural markets across Anambra, as well as skills acquisition and empowerment training for over 2,500 women in various skills including; tailoring and fashion design, soap making, bakery and confectionery, hair dressing and beauty therapy, and interior decoration, amongst other programmes.”
Wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oby Okeke, assured Mrs. Obiano that the women were excited at the opportunity to interact and discuss their health needs and thanked her for visiting to promote antenatal attendance and safe delivery of pregnant women in Otuocha, as well as her Njikoka native local government.
One of the beneficiaries of the Mama Kit, Mrs Happiness Arize, who spoke on behalf of others, commended the dedication and commitment of the state governor and his wife to the overall welfare of women.
She, however, called on pregnant mothers to make use of the antenatal clinics at the healthcare centres to avoid complications.
She also prayed for God’s grace and protection for Mrs Obiano, assuring her of the overwhelmingly support of women for the governor’s second term in office.
Reproductive Health Coordinator, Ministry of Health Anambra State, Mrs. Ebele Anaeme, praised the intervention of the governor’s wife in support of safe delivery for pregnant mothers in the state through regular donation of Mama Kits:
“We are very grateful for the free distribution of 40 packs of kits to pregnant mothers today and assure you that it will go a long way in ensuring safe delivery in our primary healthcare centres.”
The Head of Local Government Administration in Otucha, Mr. Simeon Okeke and his counterpart in Njikoka Local Government, Mrs. Chinyere Nkaneme, while welcoming the governor’s wife expressed their appreciation that she remembered the pregnant mothers in the area and asked her to convey their gratitude to the governor whom they agreed was doing well in the overall development of the state.