- About 34% of global maternal deaths occur in Nigeria and India alone, an indictment on successive Nigerian governments
- Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta in the south-south region is doing everything within his power to address the issue in his state
- A specialist mother and child hospital has been built in the state by the Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration
Asaba - Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday, June 15 called on the federal government to fully operationalise the National Health Act to curb the high rate of maternal and neonatal mortality in the country.
Okowa made the call at the inauguration of Asaba Specialist Hospital, which was performed by his Adamawa counterpart, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri, in Asaba, the Delta state capital.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for operationalising the National Health Act, but remarked that it was being implemented in part contrary to the full content and letters of the Act as passed by the National Assembly.
More action required in operating the National Health Act
According to him, when fully operationalised, half of the funds would be utilised in providing free treatment to the vulnerable group thereby reducing the prevailing high maternal and neonatal mortality rate which has become an embarrassment to the country.
“I call on the federal government to ensure that all funds as contained in the National Health Act is fully released and 50 percent will go to the vulnerable, which includes the pregnant women and children under five years.”
Inaugurating the hospital, Fintiri commended Governor Okowa for demonstrating great leadership traits which had culminated in numerous projects being inaugurated across the state.
A hospital to keep young ones and their mothers safe
Meanwhile, on his Facebook page, Governor Okowa shared his experience while commissioning the facilities at the Asaba Specialist Hospital.
Okowa shared a story about how a young boy was there to receive treatment but his face lit up to greet him.
“It is moments like these that reinforce why we must all continue to work to build a stronger Delta with better access to affordable healthcare for all our people.”
In a related development, Governor Okowa of Delta state has urged the federal government to re-direct fuel subsidy funds to healthcare.
Okowa made the call when he received the national executive committee of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria led by its president, Dr. Minnie Oseji, at Government House, Asaba on Thursday, June 10.
He said that the best way to attend to the very low people in the society was through their health needs.
Recall that Governor Okowa recently announced that his administration trained and empowered no fewer than 100,000 youths in Delta state to become entrepreneurs in the last six years.
He stated this in a state broadcast to mark his 6th anniversary in office as governor.
According to the governor, the large army of unemployed graduates and secondary school leavers was a clear danger to the peace and security of the state hence his administration resolved to work towards making them job creators instead of job seekers.