Pregnant women in the Bayelsa have been told to key into the state government safe motherhood initiative to enjoy the abundant benefits of the programme.
In addition to registering for, and receiving free ante-natal care, enrollees of the safe mother initiative will get free insecticide treated mosquito nets, HIV/AIDS screening, tetanus injection and routine immunization.
Other benefits include, free diagnostic tests, where necessary as well as a monthly incentive of N3, 000 from point of registration into the programme up until two months after delivery.
These were some of the fall-outs of an orientation programme organised by the state Ministry of Health for members of the Sensitisation Committee on safe motherhood.
Speaking at the orientation programme, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics in the state Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Ebiakpo Agbedi said, the task of the sensitisation committee was basically that of advocacy and sharing information.
He pointined out that, the whole essence of the safe motherhood initiative is to drastically reduce the infant and maternal mortality rate in the state and promote good health of mother and child.
In her remarks, the Director in charge of Reproductive Health in the ministry, Mrs. Happiness Mass said, some of the reasons for the high infant and maternal mortality rate, include infection of the newborn, especially around the stump of the umbilical cord and excessive bleeding during child birth.
She added that, the state Ministry of Health is collaborating with relevant stake holders and will adopt a flexible approach to the routine immunization of children.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager of one the development partners, “Saving One Million Lives for Result”, Dr. Ebikapaye Okoyen said, other benefits of enrolling in the safe motherhood initiative, include a N2,000 package for enrollees at point of registration and immediately after delivery as well as a delivery kit after child birth.
Okoyen disclosed that, the delivery kit includes, among other things, a pack of baby wipe, baby soap, dettol, jelly, cotton wool, sanitary pad, baby towel, mucus extractor and some relevant medications.
Chairman of the sensitisation committee, Chris Odi, who is the Director of Information in the state Information ministry said, in addition to reaching the various communities in the state to spread the safe motherhood message, using the local dialects of the people, the committee will produce jingles and also deploy town criers in the villages to ensure the message gets to the target audience.
One of the participants, Gibson Gbalimore, said the orientation programme was very enriching, adding that, everything he had learnt about safe motherhood will greatly assist in the course of the assignment of the committee.
The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, had while inaugurating the committee last week charged them to carry out a door to door campaign of the Safe Motherhood Initiative.
While emphasizing the importance and enormous work of the committee, Iworiso-Markson had announced that, a radio programme that will be done in pidgin English on the state owned station has been set up to further drive the safe motherhood message home.
Following the orientation programme for members of the sensitisation committee, the committee is set to swing into action.