Ambode’s Jumbo For Lagos Expectant Mothers | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ambode’s Jumbo For Lagos Expectant Mothers

Bolanle Ambode
Posted: Jul 30, 2016 at 7:44 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

In what may be described as a proactive measure to forestall the threat of maternal/child mortality in Lagos State, the wife of the Governor of the state, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode recently inspired hope in over 200 expectant mothers drawn from the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Area across the state through her uncommon demonstration of love and support for them.
The gesture, which was demonstrated through her pet project, Hope For Women In Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM) at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja indeed brought joy to many expectant mothers as they received bountiful gifts from Mrs. Ambode to relieve them of the burden of pregnancy expenses and assist in their preparation for the safe delivery of their babies.
In addition, the programme also provided a friendly platform for pregnant women to receive valuable lessons on good hygiene and healthy habits during pregnancy and after delivery in order to safeguard the future of their unborn babies from infancy.
In her welcome address, the Coordinator of Hope For Women Foundation, Ms Oyefunke Adeleke noted that the program could not have come at a better time “given the increase in our population and the need to lend a hand of support to expectant mothers.”
Said she, ‘We realised that many expectant mothers need further enlightenment on basic personal hygiene, ante-natal and post-natal classes, knowing their genotype and other pregnancy-related issues, which often times are taken for granted at the risk of death of the mother, the baby or both.”
While condemning the fact that many pregnant women “are always unprepared for the arrival of their much expected guest,” Adeleke urged participants to take advantage of the opportunity before them and be enlightened on proper sanitary conduct during pregnancy and nursing as well as standard domestic hygiene.”
The chief host and founder of HOFOWEM, Mrs. Ambode applauded the drastic reduction in maternal/child mortality rate across the state, noting that this is partly because expectant mothers receive adequate ante-natal and post-natal care; even as the state government has continued to improve on its provision of health facilities, constant re-training of medical personnel and provision of modern equipment amongst others.
While stressing that good health is the backbone of development because “healthy people are more productive and innovative,” Ambode berated the fact that infants are usually at risk of infections, diarrhoea, poor growth and many uncommon diseases associated with unhygienic habits.
She therefore charged mothers to uphold the simple rules of hygiene and also propagate it.
“As mothers, always wash your own hands, not only when you have visited the toilet but before cooking, serving food or attending to your infants. This way, many unnecessary illnesses for the child or mother could be prevented.
“As women, we have a key role to play in the health-for-all aspiration of the state government. We must play our role effectively to help government achieve zero infant and maternal mortality rate”, she added.
While commending the noble intentions of Mrs. Ambode, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris urged her to also champion the campaign for reduction in maternal deaths in Lagos State through such programs that are geared towards educating, enlightening and supporting expectant mothers.
“Our priority area as a government is maternal and child health; in fact, maternal and infant death is unacceptable to this administration, hence we want things changed,” he said, even as he noted the three major areas of concentration, namely:
•    Advocacy, Education, Behavioural change;
•    Building hospitals at all levels- primary, secondary and tertiary
•    Health Insurance Scheme, with focus on pregnant women and children.
The Commissioner further warned that exclusively breastfeeding is critical to maternal health because “women who breastfeed exclusively have lower changes of getting breast cancer.”
Also speaking at the event was the Deputy Director, Health Education, Mrs. Omowunmi George who delivered a robust health talk on necessary preparations to ensure safe delivery and healthy living.
“Pregnancy should be prepared for; it should not come unexpectedly. So, when you intend to have a baby, go to the doctor or nurse, get examined before pregnancy and be sure you are fit because no two pregnancies are the same. The first three months are critical and some drugs are dangerous; so also is alcohol. So, plan well and use only the drugs that are recommended by the doctor. Also, ante-natal should be at least four times during pregnancy,” said Mrs. George.
In addition, she gave some tips to the expectant mothers-
1.    Eat well but not excessively
2.    Rest well
3.    Drink lots of water
4.    Work but do not be stressed
5.    Save towards delivery
6.    Make preparations for transformation
7.    Get money ready in case of emergency
8.    Be positive minded
9.    Plan with your husband
10.    Be mindful of danger signs e.g. headache, swollen legs, bleeding etc.

Lending her voice, State Director, National Population Commission, Mrs. Olusola Oshideko urged that “a baby’s first right is the birth certificate. He must be registered with government as this is a proof of delivery that the child carries throughout a life time and the law says it should be issued within 60 days.”
Thereafter, the Matron from Amuwo-Odofin General Hospital took the lid off the bottle as she presented the numerous items in the gift pack and what they are meant for. It was indeed an exceptional moment with heart-warming cheers from the participants, especially the expectant mothers who were overjoyed at the generosity of the wife of the Governor.
Expressing appreciation, the matron said, “We are so happy at this gesture because from experience, we see that most of the women, when they come, say that the owner of the load (the father of the baby) is not around. In fact, some babies are wrapped with pillow cases while their mothers are given bed sheets to use as cover. So, we are overjoyed at Mrs. Ambode’s magnanimity and support for our expectant mothers.”
Also speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Kazeem Zarat expressed profound appreciation and prayers for the wife of the Governor for being so thoughtful and generous towards them. She equally thanked all the doctors, matrons and nurses for taking good care of them.
Dignitaries present at the event include, Mrs. Falilat Obasa, wife of the Speaker of the House of Assembly; Dr. Mrs. Modele Oshunkuyesi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health; Mrs. Oyefunke Adeleke, Coordinator, Hope For Women Foundation (HOFOWEM); Mrs. Abiodun Bamgboye, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Chief of Staff; Chairman, House Committee on Health, Segun Olulade and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris. Others are Special Adviser, Primary Healthcare, Dr. Femi Onanuga; Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Lola Akande; former Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Oluyinka Oladunjoye; wife of APC Chairman, Lagos State, Mrs. Adetoun Ajomale, amongst others.


Yemi Adebisi, Lagos.