Patience Jonathan volunteers to be peace advocate…now to be known as Mama Peace

By The Citizen

The wife of the President, Dame Patience Jonathan has declared her intention to be a peace advocate, adding that message of peace is what she would be preaching henceforth to bring an end to militancy and terrorists activities in the country.

The wife of the President who said she should be henceforth known and addressed as Mama Peace  made her new status known at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, where the formal launch of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE P) of Maternal and Child Health Programme otherwise known as MAMA Project, was held.

The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme  on Maternal and Child Health (SURE P MCH) is a direct intervention by the Federal Government of Nigeria, using the savings from the fuel subsidy removal, to reduce the incidence of maternal and neonatal mortality.

The First Lady who also said that her Non-Governmental Organization, Women for Change Initiative has signed Memorandum of Understand (MOU) with some international hospitals who have agreed to build, equip and manage the best hospital for women and children in Africa.

The hospital which she disclosed is near completion, Mama Peace, also knowledged that women and children were her primary constituency, said it was her concern and interest in their well being that made her go in search of help from international partners to established the best women and children hospital in Africa.

“That was why I went in search of help, that is why soon I’m going to sign an MOU with some international hospitals to build one of the best hospital here in Nigeria that will be the best in Africa. The hospital is almost completed and will soon be equipped and then our international partners will run It to provide the best medical care to our women and children.

“My name is no more Patience but now Mama Peace. Because I believe without peace there will be no more women, no more children and no more health sector. Without peace our international community will be afraid to come and invest in our country.

“Peace is from the heart is not from the tongue or lips not what you say but what is inner you. We pray for genuine peace because is the key to our arriving at our desire destination as a nation.

“We are approaching the new year which is a year of peace, progress and so many good to come. A year of no militancy nor boko haram because God will shower peace and make us take a u-turn from disaster.

Mrs. Jonathan said the initiative was  targeting 500 primary health care facilities and 125 general hospitals, describing it as an important milestone in Nigeria's efforts to ensure maternal, newborn and child survival.

“As you are aware, complications related to pregnancy and child birth are among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in women of reproductive age in developing countries – Nigeria is no exception.

“Available statistics show that every minute, a woman dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

“In Nigeria, experts say it is one in 15; which means that one out of every 15 woman who gives birth will die of pregnancy-related causes.

“The country has two per cent of the world's population but accounts for 10 per cent of global maternal and under-five deaths.

“However, the good news is that, current figures from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate appreciable reduction in maternal mortality ratio from 545 per 100,000 live births to 350 per 100,000 live births.

“I am happy to learn that the SURE-P MCH will not only increase ante-natal care attendance by 52 per cent, but will also increase skilled birth attendance by 63 per cent and postnatal care by 63 per cent.

“I believe most of these deaths are preventable if women have access to adequate health care services and skilled care at the time of delivery.

“The launch of the SURE-P MCH MAMA projecttoday   provides that access, with provision of quality maternal, newborn and child health care.

“The benefits are enormous:
Better Infrastructure and Increased human resources to encourage greater use of health care services.

Upgrade of community dispensaries to Primary Health Care centers and greater involvement of more local health workers.

“Direct beneficiaries will be pregnant women and newborns, and Conditional cash transfers of N5,000 to mothers who make 4 antenatal care visits, are delivered by skilled birth attendants and make immediate postnatal care visit.

“I have no doubt that effective implementation of this project will accelerate the country's progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially targets 4; to reduce child mortality and 5; to improve maternal health.

“I will use this opportunity to call on our women, particularly the pregnant ones to take advantage of this project and utilize the antenatal care, as well as the delivery and postnatal care services being provided at the primary health center nearest to them. These services are for your good and for the good of your children”.

She commended President Jonathan, for his purposeful leadership in drive towards national transformation in Nigeria.

“Mr. President has ensured that the health and survival of newborns, infants, children, youth, women and other vulnerable members of society is the number one priority of the Health Sector within the human capital development thrust of the Transformation Agenda.

“As the Co-Chair of the United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, he has ensured that this priority is strongly reflected in the primary objectives of SURE-P.

“I will also like to seize this opportunity to appeal to our Development Partners to continue to make safe motherhood their priority by giving their maximum support to the issue of women's health in Nigeria.

“Let us renew our commitment to ensuring that 'No woman dies while giving Life'.

In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu said the initiative is in fulfillment of the promise of the President to reinvest partial removal of subsidy fund on SURE P of maternal and child health programme.

“Since this programme started we have not had a case of guinea worm case, so guinea worm has been eradicated from Nigeria as certified by WHO”.

The Chairman House Committee on Health, Ndudi Elumelu,

This initiative has recorded tremendous successes in other sectors adding that it was quick funds in addition to budgeted funds of the various MDAs to accelerate federal projects in Nigeria.

He said SURE-P initiatives is working on the roads and has no doubt the new project will also be a success, adding “This programme will transform those in rural areas and will bring succour and promote good health. It will accelerate MDG goal 4 and 5.

“This initiative will reduce child mortality rate in Nigeria, as losing one’s child is a very traumatic experience. It shows the government is focus, human and believe in the preservation of lives.

“No effort is too much to ensure a nation has a healthy nation”.

The SURE P Care Package include Focused Ante Natal Care (ANC) services, skilled birth attendant (SBA), Post Natal Care (PNC) and Immunization, Family Planning/Child spacing, free supply of MNCH Drugs, Free Supply of Medical Equipment, Free Supply of Commodities (such as VHW kits, MAMA kits-, deployment of midwives and CHEWs at selected SURE-P health facilities, reactivation of Ward Development Committees, Engagement of Village Health Workers, Renovation of Health Centres, and Conditional cash transfers to pregnant women in Pilots sites.