Enugu Gov’s wife launches “Mama Care Initiative”, enrols 1,701 pregnant women on health insurance scheme 

In line with her desire to reduce maternal- child mortality rate and provide quality health care services for pregnant women and their babies, the wife of Enugu state Governor ,Mrs Nkechinyere Mbah,Tuesday, June 18, launched “Mama Care Initiative” , an initiative of her office and one of the programs of her pet project , CUSTOS Care Foundation.

The Governor’s wife also enrolled 1,701 pregnant women in her Healthcare insurance scheme, which provides free medical services to the beneficiaries for a period of one year( covering antenatal and post antenatal periods).

 Pix- Mrs Mbah delivering a speech

She. also gave out cash donation  and bags of rice to over 1,700 expectant mothers drawn from the 17 local government areas of the state.

Performing the launch at the Michael Okpara Square,Enugu, Mrs Mbah said the project was aimed  at boosting government’s effort to eradicate  maternal and infant mortality from the state.

Pix: Gov Mbah ‘s wife presenting the insurance scheme enrollment document to a beneficiary.

Her words: “Too often, the joy of pregnancy is overshadowed by the fear and uncertainty brought about by financial constraints, leading many women to seek the services of traditional birth attendants. While these attendants have served their communities for generations, the realities of modern healthcare necessitate a shift towards facilities, equipped to handle the complexities of childbirth.

“Through the Mama Care Initiative, we are taking decisive action to bridge this gap by paying for a one-year health insurance premium for 1,701 pregnant women across our 17 local government areas, ensuring that 100 women from each L.G.A will have access to comprehensive healthcare services, which includes not only antenatal care but also the safe and supervised conditions necessary for delivery in our hospitals and healthcare centres.

Pix: Mrs Mbah exchanging pleasantries with the women

“Our vision is to reduce maternal and infant mortality in our state significantly. It is unacceptable that in this era, women should lose their lives giving birth or that infants should not survive their first days due to preventable complications.

“We aim to provide our mothers with the security and support they need to bring new life into the world safelv and healthily. This commitment is to the welfare and healthcare of our mothers and children in Enugu State.

“The Mama Care Initiative is designed to provide essential services such as prenatal and postnatal care, nutritional support, health education, and access to medical resources. It will bring essential medical services directly to our communities, ensuring that even the most remote areas benefit from the expertise and care of our dedicated healthcare professionals.

Pix: Mrs Mbah(4th -R)

“By combining the provision of health insurance with proactive medical outreach, we are creating a robust support system for our expectant mothers.

“It is a health intervention and pledge of support to every woman in Enugu State, a promise that we see you, hear you, and are committed to standing by you through one of the most critical phases of your life.

“We encourage all our pregnant mothers to utilize these services, to attend their antenatal appointments diligently, take your routine drugs religiously and to choose hospitals or healthcare centres for childbirth. Your health and the health of your baby are paramount 

 Pix: Expected mothers

*Let it be a reminder that you are valued and your health is our priority. We are here to support you every step of the way”, Mrs Mbah said.

She announced the distribution of 1,701 bags of rice in addition to financial support to the pregnant women to support the nutritional needs of both the mothers and their unborn babies, saying, 

” We understand the importance of proper nutrition for both mother and child, and we are here to ensure that you have the resources needed to thrive”.

Pix: Commissioner for health,Prof Ikechukwu Obi

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Prof Emmanuel Obi, recalled that Mrs. Mbah had settled the medical bills of so many pregnant women and nursing mothers as well as enrolled many Enugu women on health insurance before now, and urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity by religiously presenting themselves for professional care at the health facilities.

He described the gesture as a major millage for the Governor Peter Mbah’s many initiatives to bring government closer to the grassroot through the construction of 260 Type 2 Primary Healthcare Centres, many of which are already nearing completion.

Pix: Dr Eunice Ngozi Ugwu

In a lecture on  ,’ Prioritizing healthcare during and after pregnancy,” the resource person, Dr Eunice  Ngozi Ugwu, Chairperson , Nigerian Council of Nurses and Midwifery, Enugu chapter, spoke on the need for pregnant women to register for antenatal. She said that there is an integrated approach in all antenatal clinics, where they enlighten  pregnant women  to wear free clothes and flat shoes/ Silpas that will be comfortable on them, the exercise they should do,  healthy food to eat , how to breastfeed their babies, and the need to stay safe.

She advised pregnant women to go to government owned hospitals for  better care. ,especially during delivery because Government hospitals were well equipped and have specialists in different  medical fields. 

Pix- Beneficiaries

In her lecture on “Improving nutritional knowledge of pregnant women in Enugu state ,,”Mrs Loveth  Onwuzulike of Enugu Primary Health Care Center, advised expectant mothers to eat four- star- meal, comprising stable food (carbohydrates), legumes(beans and others)  fruits and vegetables, fats and oil , animal sourced food ( meat,eggs, others)

Delivering a lecture on ” Pressure and mental stress In pregnancy”, Dr Uzoamaka

advised pregnant women against self medication,. She also advised them  to visit  the hospital for proper health management. The resource person warned against stree, saying, stress could come from expectation of a particular sex  and  could lead to high blood pressure.

.Pix: Dr Uzoamaka

Pix- MD, CUSTOS Care Foundation ,Mrs Egodi Igwe

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Managing Director of CUSTOS Care Foundation, Mrs Egodi Igwe said the foundation  has social responsibilities, insurance scheme, opened  in all the 17  local  government areas of the state, where 100 pregnant women from each local government area will benefit from the program.

She added that they had collected names of women that will benefit from their agricultural program and presently, the Foundation is organizing a- one month training for Youths on leather works.

 CUSTOS Care Foundation had before now, given 100 pregnant women  health insurance premium. “They are on free medical care for one year , covering antenatal, delivery and postnatal periods.

Pix- Mrs Amarachi Osita collecting her insurance documents from Mrs Mbah

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Amarachi Osita, thanked Mrs. Nkechinyere Mbah ,  her foundation for their kind gestures . She prayed God to bless and protect her . She said with the insurance scheme and the  gifts she received, “now all my worries are gone.”

Pix- Presentation of bag of rice to a beneficiary by the MD, CUSTOS Care Foundation, Mrs Egodi Igwe.

Pix- Cultural dance display

Highlights of the event were cultural dance display and distribution of bags of rice and cash  to the expectant mothers, who were full of praises to Mrs Mbah

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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