The Bayelsa State Government has told women to key into its safe motherhood initiative to enjoy the abundant benefits of the programme.
Apart from registering and receiving free ante-natal care, the government said enrolees of the safe mother initiative would get free insecticide treated mosquito nets, HIV/AIDS screening, tetanus injection and routine immunisation.
Other benefits include free diagnostic tests where necessary as well as a monthly incentive of N3, 000 from point of registration into the programme up until two months after delivery.
The state government stated these during an orientation programme organised by the State Ministry of Health for members of the Sensitisation Committee on safe motherhood.
Speaking at the orientation programme, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics in Bayelsa State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Ebiakpo Agbedi, said the task of the sensitisation committee was basically that of advocacy and sharing information.
He added that the whole essence of the safe motherhood initiative is to drastically reduce the infant and maternal mortality rate in the state and promote good health of mother and child.
In her remarks, the Director in charge of Reproductive Health in the ministry, Mrs. Happiness Masah said some of the reasons for the high infant and maternal mortality rate include infection of the newborn, especially around the stump of the umbilical cord and excessive bleeding during child birth.
Also speaking, the Programme Manager of one the development partners, “Saving One Million Lives for Result”, Dr. Ebikapaye Okoyen said other benefits of enrolling in the safe motherhood initiative include a N2,000 package for enrollees at point of registration and immediately after delivery as well as a delivery kit after child birth.
Okoyen disclosed that the delivery kit includes, among other things, a pack of baby wipe, baby soap, dettol, jelly, cotton wool, sanitary pad, baby towel, mucus extractor and some relevant medications.
Chairman of the sensitisation committee, Chris Odi, who is the Director of Information in the state Information ministry said in addition to reaching the various communities in the state to spread the safe motherhood message, using the local dialects of the people, the committee will produce jingles and also deploy town criers in the villages to ensure the message gets to the target audience.