FG Launches Safe Birth Initiative to Tackle Maternal, Child Mortality

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Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole
Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole

ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Health Report) – The Federal Government in partnership with Coca – Cola has launched the safe birth initiative worth N4 Billion aimed at tackling the country’s high maternal and child mortality rate.

Speaking during the launching in Abuja recently, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole (Prof) said that the Government is working towards reducing the current maternal mortality rates from 576 per 100,000 live births and newborn mortality rate from 37 per 1,000 live births to the targeted maternal mortality ratio of 140 per 100,000 live births as well as 12 per 1,000 neonatal and still births by 2030 respectively.

Isaac Adewole noted that the initiative was also done in partnership with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a non-governmental organisation, Medshare International Inc. He further said that the donation by Coca-Cola was part of the Federal Government’s effort to ensure improvement on health facilities, adding that the relationship is critical towards enhancing corporate social responsibility.

The Minister emphasised the importance of ensuring the availability and affordability of essential commodities as well as improving health facilities with qualified manpower and equipment. He later informed that the items donated included: beds, ventilators, monitors, paediatric incubators, resucitares, CPAP machines, infusion pumps and ultra sound machines. Others were: wheel chairs, monitors, crash carts with defibrillator, theatre lights and operating table, among others.

In her remarks at the occasion, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Adejoke Orelope-Adefullire, said that the Coca-Cola Safe Birth Initiative (SBI) is a programme designed to support selected hospitals across the country with state-of-the-art medical equipment and technical capacity building. She further inferred that the SBI is directly supporting the achievement of SDG-3 on ‘ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages’ and SDG-5 on ‘achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls’.

In his remarks, the President of Coca – Cola, West Africa, Peter Njonjo revealed that the organisation chose to join the fight against maternal and newborn deaths so that mothers and babies could go home alive from maternities. He also hinted that SBI resonates strongly with Coca-Cola because it affects the wellbeing of women.

“Globally, Coca-Cola has a commitment to women who they consider as pillars of the society and their business, especially in Nigeria and Africa where women play a dominant role in the vast distribution and retail network,” he intensified.

During his testimonial, the Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital in Abuja, Jafaru Momoh (Dr) commended the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Health through the Minister and Coca-Cola for the donations. He emphasised that the donation would help in reducing maternal, perinatal morbidity and mortality as well as ensuring the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Momoh identified the departments that has benefited from the donations to include: Paediatrics, Anaesthesia, Emergency and Radiography.