By Our Correspondent
Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari today flagged off her pet project tagged, “Project Future Assured” at Ikom Township Stadium, Cross River State.
Flagging off the event, the President’s wife commended Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade for providing an enabling environment for the maternal new born and child health week to kick off while also lauding Mrs. Linda Ayade for launching her foundation and choosing to be a maternal and child health ambassador for the state.
In her words: “I will like to commend the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade for providing a conducive environment for the official flag off of MNCH week and also congratulate his beautiful wife, Dr. Lynda Ayade for initiating the Mediatrix Foundation. I wish her success in her new role as maternal and child health Ambassador in Cross River State.”
Mrs. Buhari who was accompanied by wives of the governors of Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Oyo as well as former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Mrs Pauline Tallen, among others, maintained that Nigeria was one of the countries with the highest rate of maternal and infant mortality, hence the need to take extra-ordinary actions to reduce the trend.
Continuing, she said: “The Federal Government is desirous of bringing this quality health care services closer to the people at the grassroots which is the primary reason for the establishment of one primary healthcare center in each political ward across the country,” assuring that she was committed to continuing advocacy for favorable response aimed at accelerating the reduction of maternal new born and child mortality.
While speaking, Initiator of Mediatrix Development Foundation and Wife of the Governor of Cross River State, Mrs. Linda Ayade, stressed the need to correct the trend of maternal and child deaths in the state and the country, revealing that in Cross River, the skilled birth attendants stands at 41 percent, leaving 51 percent to gamblers.
The governor’s wife who rhetorically asked, “How can we gamble with lives which are irreplaceable?”, regretted that despite the free health care program for pregnant women and children under five years, some women patronized unskilled birth attendants, go to prayer houses and churches, without knowing the skills of the attendants.”
Mrs. Ayade said “the ugly trend must be stopped in our society,” adding that “Infant mortality rate is 75 in every 1000 live births. This high maternal and mortality rate contributes to the national picture and therefore totally unacceptable.
While thanking the husband for establishing the Primary Healthcare Development Agency which she noted will be the driver of the initiative, the governor’s wife urged all stakeholders to ensure that quality health services were affordable and made accessible for the citizenry at all levels.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong said the state remained committed to the training of health workers in basic midwifery skills, establishment of a viable health management system, the provision of drugs as well as monitoring and supervision of health facilities.
Highpoint of the flag off was the commissioning a two Primary Health Centers in Ikom as well as the immunization of children by the Wife of the President.
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