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The Bayelsa State government said it had concluded arrangements to launch its safe motherhood scheme on October 31 2018, with a view to reducing the high incidence of infant and maternal mortality in the state.

Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Yenagoa, said that Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN), a former Minister of Special Duties and an ex-presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would be the chairman of the event.

He also said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, would be the guest of honour nf the occasion scheduled to hold in Yenagoa.

The statement enjoined all pregnant women who are registered in the various government hospitals and health centres to attend as stipends would be given to them.

The Governor Seriake Dickson-led administration is embarking on another launch of the safe motherhood initiative three months after it launched the same scheme at the same venue.

It would be recalled that firmer President Olusegun Obasanjo and Dickson had launched the safe motherhood programme during the First Infant/Maternal Mortality Summit organised by the state government on August 1 2018.

The event attracted people from all walks of life, including the Speaker of the Gambian National Assembly/Deputy Speaker, ECOWAS Parliament, Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay.

Others were President of the National Council of Women Society Mrs. Gloria Labaran Shoda; matron of African Women Leadership Organisation, Chief Opral Benson; Special Adviser to former Speaker of Liberia, Dr. Jophia Nanker Gupar; Deputy Governor John Jonah, and Rachael Dickson’s wife.

Also, women groups, state lawmakers, commissioners and executive members as well as civil society groups also witnessed the launch.

Obasanjo, who chaired the summit, had stated among other things that curbing infant and maternal mortality were vital to the growth and development of society, stressing that if women were not given attention, they would not get the recognition and would be barred from making contributions to society.

On his part, the governor remarked that the government initiated the safe motherhood policy to give every expectant mother in Bayelsa a monthly stipend of N3,000 as incentive to enable them attend ante-natal care.

After the summit, the government, on August 9, through the office of the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, inaugurated a sensitisation campaign committee chaired by Chris Odi, a director in the ministry, “to spread the message of the safe motherhood initiative across the state.”

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