By Dorcas Jonah
The Federal Government has inaugurated the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Women Societies Natal Care Partnership Programme, designed at bringing succour to Nigerian women and children.
Inaugurating the board, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said that the programme was targeted at those residing where access to basic medical care and attention was minimal.
Dr Habiba Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, represented Mustapha at the occasion.
Mustapha also said the programme was in tandem with one of the cardinal objectives of the present administration in the country, to provide basic healthcare for all Nigerians.
He noted that providing sustainable and standard Maternal and Child Health Care (MCH) in the third world countries was one that had been in the purview of global health care watchers for a long time.
According to him, the Federal government is in line with the idea behind MCH.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December, 1948, in Article 25 Caption 2, states that `Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance.
“All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. This was also buttressed by the 2030 agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals,’’ he said.
Mustapha said that prior to the current administration; Nigeria was poorly rated in the provision of Maternal and Child Health Care.
Realising this, he said government made it one of its cardinal interests for the change agenda to make life better for women and the children.
He said that a solution to this protracted phenomenon had been found in a sustainable, `take it to the needy’ approach foundation programme of NCWS-Natal Care Partnership.
Mustapha said the programme had been endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Health for implementation as a remedial project, adding that it was due for inauguration.
“Within the content of this programme, the pregnant mother-to-be will be guided through her natal period from conception to Ante-Natal Clinics, through delivery until her baby clocks five years,“ he said.
The secretary to the government of the federation described the programme as a special assistance in line with the Human Rights Declaration aforementioned.
Earlier, the President of NCWS, Mrs Gloria Shoda, said that the Natal Care Partnership programme was an outcome of a study and research on maternity services in Nigeria.
According to her, it also provides solutions to motherhood and Childhood Natal care challenges in the country.
She said the study, done in Nigeria, was a tested award winning product, adding that thousands of women and children would stand to benefit from it.
“Based, therefore, on my interest in this programme design and methodology, the NCWS as the umbrella body of women nationwide, has taken side with the proponents of the programme in its implementation.
“Women are at the receiving end of this malady, called Maternal Mortality because of its attendant high death scourge.
“It is with motherly concern and passion that I, on behalf of Nigerian Women and Children under -5, wish to drive this programme to a sustainable culture of healthcare in Nigeria.
“I, therefore, welcome all of you to the beginning of this trail blazing national assignment implementation which is the inauguration of Eminent Nigerians as Board of Trustees,’’ she said.
Responding on behalf of members of the board, a members of the board,Prof. Austine Obasohan, said