Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on Wednesday was full of commendation for his Bayelsa counterpart, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, whom he said has set very high marks in governance worthy of emulation by their colleagues.
He spoke as the special guest of honour at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall in Yenagoa during the formal launch of the Bayelsa Safe Motherhood Scheme and commencement of payment of monthly stipends to over 1000 pregnant women in line with the state government’s determination to reduce the incidence of maternal and infant mortality.
A press release by the Special Adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted Governor Dickson as urging pregnant women in the state to register at the nearest healthcare provider and regularly attend antenatal services to enable them benefit from the scheme.
The governor said the scheme would outlive his administration as appropriate measures such as the Health Insurance Scheme and medical health facilities have been provided across the 105 wards in the state to cater to the needs of people in the hinterlands.
In their separate remarks, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and a former Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Taminu Turaki (SAN), described Governor Dickson as a trail blazer in the health sector as he was the first to initiate and implement the Safe Motherhood Scheme in the country.
Flagging off the programme, Dr. Okowa applauded his Bayelsa counterpart for recognising the place of mothers in society, stressing that paying special attention to women would go a long way to building a healthy family and nation.
While encouraging mothers to take advantage of the initiative, he however cautioned them on the need to imbibe the practice of birth spacing for the sake of their health and general well-being of the family.
On his part, Alhaji Turaki, who is a former presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, noted that besides building institutions and physical infrastructure, Dickson had also demonstrated passion for people-oriented programmes such as the Safe Motherhood Scheme.
Also speaking, wife of the governor, Dr. Rachel Dickson, congratulated her husband for carrying women along in his administration as evident in the unprecedented number of political appointments for women, promotion of the girl-child education and special care for mothers and children.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, commended the governor for taking the bold step in introducing various health programmes in the struggle to promote healthy living.