Flattening The Curve of Maternal Mortality Through Martha’s Pregnacare Outreach
Maternal mortality refers to deaths due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth. In Akwa State, the decision by the wife Governor, Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel to tackle this anomaly when she came on board in 2015, informed the championing of a reproductive health program via her non-governmental platform; Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path Initiative (FEYReP) tagged: “Martha’s Pregnacare Outreach”.
Suffice noting that in a state where Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) hitherto held sway in many rural communities, it took the innovative intervention of the governor’s wife to change the tide and encourage locals to embrace the orthodox way of delivery.
The Outreach which has been held successfully for the past seven years with the sub theme “Pregnancy, Childbirth and Beyond”, has succeeded in drastically reducing the State’s high record in maternal mortality and infant morbidity, while also encouraging a healthy lifestyle amongst expectant mothers. Interestingly, Martha’s Pregnacare Outreach has laudable impact especially in rural communities with over 6000 expectant women benefitting so far.
To further cover more grounds, on Friday February, 18th 2022 at Ibom Hall, Uyo,
another set of expectant mothers numbering over 400 took their turn as they were taken through free medical tests, treatment, health tips and hygiene. The women at the end of the outreach were also gifted free delivery packs with cash all courtesy of the governor’s wife.
Addressing the women, founder of FEYReP, Dr. Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel Emmanuel while giving a background on the outreach said: ” it became imperative to help educate and assist expectant mothers cope with the demands of pregnancy”.
She added that it is always very right to go for antenatal and seek proper medical attention regularly, stating that she wasn’t against the practice of traditional birth attendants, but was rather concerned about the procedure of delivery in those homes, because; “there have been unwarranted cases of deaths and transmission of deadly diseases in those places”.
The governor’s wife also took out time to educate the young women on hygiene and dieting during pregnancy, advising that they must eat well so their babies can as well eat well. While calling for exclusive breastfeeding of the babies, she as well placed premium on proper hygiene before, during and after childbirth.
For the Coordinator of FEYReP, Mrs. Ime Inyang, the free Medicare, cash gift, and as well the maternity packs given to the women are all efforts geared at reducing infant morbidity and maternal mortality in the state. “This programme has been able to address the myths and facts of pregnancy. It has also opened new vistas of hope for our women in the rural communities who now comfortably have embraced going for antenatal. I thank my boss, the governor’s wife for championing this noble course”, Inyang opined.
Taking the women through special topics such as: Nutrition during Pregnancy, post delivery and Early Childhood; Antenatal Care: key to healthy pregnancy, and child health; and the Facts and Myths of Ceaserean operation, were seasoned medical personnel in the persons of Dr. Eno Mkpang, Dr. Mary Udoh and Dr. Imabong Inwang respectively.
Professor Edna Akpan was also on hand to educate the expectant mothers on Nutritional value and benefits of biofortified crops, while the immediate past Commissioner for health now Honorary Adviser to the Governor, Dr. Dominic Ukpong also offered his words of knowledge to the benefit of the women.
In a vote of thanks, Mrs. Abasiofon Luke from Mkpat Enin LGA had these to say: “I so much appreciate the governor’s wife for this educative platform provided us to learn these very important topics. I must say that many of us didn’t know anything on these topics but as a result of this meeting, I and my fellow women have made up our minds to adhere to what we have been taught”.
February 18th, 2022