From Mohammed Salisu in Sokoto
The wife of Kebbi State Governor, Dr.Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu has pledged to work tirelessly with all stakeholders until maternal and infant mortality is reduced to the minimum in Kebbi State.
Dr.Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, who is also the founder of Medicaid Cancer Foundation stated this while fielding questions from newsmen at Government House in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, shortly after engagement meeting with wives of local government chairmen, councillors, women groups and development partners on the need to tackle maternal and infant mortality , create awareness on the global outbreak of Covid –19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019).
This is contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Kebbi State Governor on Media and Publcity, Yahaya Sarki and issued to newsmen .
She said since the advent of this administration, series of meetings, fora and intervention have taken place by both the state government and development partners to reverse the trend and ensure that women and children remain paramount.
She lamented however that challenges still remains going by the national demographic health survey indicators on the area of reproductive health,ante natal care, nutrition and number of children recieving immunization which resulted in high maternal and infant mortality rate .
Dr.Zainab said her overall goal was to see drastic reduction in maternal and infant mortality, see improvement in immunization rate, ante natal care, birth delivery at hospitals and nutrition in the state.
Earlier, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu during the meeting with wives of local government chairmen, councillors, women groups and stakeholders emphasised that the poor health indices of Kebbi State must change.
She said “” We must change the health narrative of Kebbi State by addressing maternal and infant mortality in the state””.
Dr. Zainab observed that the major health challenges still remained in the rural communities, hence the wives of local government chairmen and councillors must take the message to their respective areas to mobilise the women towards a change attitude.
She expressed concern that many women deliver their babies at home instead of going to the hospital resulting to complications and eventual lost of mother and the child during delivery.
She charged women leaders at the meeting to braced up with challenges ahead of them in their respective communities and called for more synergy between all stakeholders for positive health outcomes in the state.
On Conora virus pendemic, Dr.Zainab advised women and the public to intensify personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.
She said the virus has no cure yet but people should imbibe the habit of washing their hands at least 6 times preferably with sanitizers or soaps.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Health, Alhaji Muhammad Jafar commended the wife of the governor for calling the meeting and her various efforts in ensuring better health for women and children in the state .
He said the meeting is very important at this point in time, because it aims at discussing about maternal health and child birth. Adding that it was a pet programme of the first lady of the federation, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, and the wife of Kebbi State Governor, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu coordinating the state level.
The commissioner added that Dr. Bagudu, overtime, has successfully identified and mapped out strategies of improving primary health care in the state, more especially in maternal health and child survival. He commended her for the tireless efforts she makes in the advocacy for RMNCAH.
He charged the wives of the local government chairmen and women councillors to take the message to the grassroots for better outcome.
Similarly, the Special Adviser to the governor of Kebbi State on Women Development, Hajiya Zarau Wali also called on the participants to join hands with wife of the governor to mobilise women in rural communities to address maternal and infant mortality.
Representatives from development partners such as Unicef,USAID, IHP and the National and State Development Healthcare Agencies commended the Kebbi State Government for its policies aimed at improving the healthcare delivery in the state.
They specifically applauded the effort of Dr.Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu for spearheading women leaders in the state on campaign for the reduction of maternal and infant mortality in Kebbi State .
Highlights of the events included enlightenment shows on Cancer, Corona Virus and paper presentation by Dr. Hamza Sadiq on the role of wives of local government chairmen and female councillors in reducing maternal and child mortality in Kebbi.