5,000 pregnant women to benefit from Lagos nutrition initiative

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The Lagos State set to provide nutrition support for over five thousand indigent pregnant women through its Mother Infant and Child Initiative(MICH).

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Wednesday, at the launch of the MICH in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

According to the governor, the Lagos State Office of Civic Engagement has been mandated to coordinate the nutrition initiative.

MICH, a component of the Womb to School Initiative by Lagos state, is aimed at providing food and supplements for indigent pregnant women in the state.

The maternal health care programme is targeted at ensuring the mother and her unborn child receive all the necessary and adequate nutrition needed for development and growth.

Speaking at the event, Sanwo-Olu noted that the MITCH programme which began last year had in the pilot phase last year reached 3000 women across 12 local governments and LCDAs.

Through this initiative, we will reach out to indigent pregnant women in our state and ensure that they are well catered for during the period of their pregnancy in order to ensure that they have a safe delivery and a healthy child.

“Our target is to reach over 5000 underprivileged pregnant women who will be selected by doctors and specialists in each of our primary health centres and secondary health care facilities.

“The benefiting pregnant women are to also receive quantitative healthcare and follow up through home visits by representatives of the public and private community health workers and medical consultants,” he said.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the food packs distributed to the indigent pregnant women contain all the recommended daily nutrition which includes protein, carbohydrates, milk, fat, fibre, calcium, folic acids and all necessary vitamins.

In addition to this provision, the governor stated that each of the beneficiaries would be given “access to a toll-free line with membership to a social media chat group that will be created by each local government area so that they can have direct feedback, monitoring and observation process even post the briefing.”

The governor also said that the beneficiaries would be guaranteed treatment of any ailment they might face during their pregnancy under the MICH initiative.

The local governments where this programme has kicked off, according to the executive governor, are Ikeja, Alimosho, Badagry, Epe, Agege, Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, Somolu, Kosofe and Ibeju Lekki.

The initiative will be expanded to other local governments in due time, the governor said.

SANWO-Olu also noted that the MICH programme, which is a component of the womb to school initiative, is aimed at supporting the development of a socially responsible citizen from infancy to adulthood.

The programme, he noted, is guided by the sustainable development goals, especially the need to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality in the state.

On her part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement and initiator of the programme, Princess Aderemi Adebowale while speaking at the launch noted that the programme is essential to grooming responsible children for the future.

While presenting her speech, she said, “It is our vision that by the year 2050, children nurtured by the Womb to School Initiative would have become responsible and productive citizens contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of our dear state in particular and the nation in general.”

On his part, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi noted that the nutrition of a baby in the womb is critical.

Abayomi said, “We are going to the baby inside the womb because that is a critical stage of development because if we miss it at that point, there is no going back. The child will forever remain unequipped to deal with life.

“As we are trying to compete with the rest of the world – as Africa is an emerging economic force, we cannot be an emerging economic force with a youthful population that is not properly, mentally and physiologically developed.”

“And so, this administration is putting its resources, time and its strategies into developing the next generation of children that will be able to compete on the international stage and to do that we need a sound nutritional programme for the foetus and for the newborn child.”

The launch of the MICH initiative also saw a presentation of the first 57 MICH babies from across the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs in the state and the presentation of the MICH app and website.

MTO/Punch

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