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Rivers Declares Free Medical Services for Pregnant Women

The Rivers State Government in collaboration with a federal government healthcare initiative, Save One Million Lives (SOML), have declared a week of free medical services for pregnant women and newborn babies in the state.

The declaration was made at the inauguration of the 2021 maternal newborn baby and child health week, held at Isiokpo, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.

Speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, Dr. Harry Agiriye, said pregnant women including HIV pregnant patients would enjoy free healthcare delivery service charges in all state-owned health institutions during the period of the programme.

Dr. Agiriye enjoined pregnant women to attend their antenatal medical routines in all government health centres at a free cost to improve on their health potency and safe delivery.

According to him, “the decision was the position of the state government to improve healthcare services delivery and to encourage women to avail themselves of the opportunity of the free medical services provided by the state government during the week to improve on their health and take good care of their newborn and safe delivery.”

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He said the choice of Ikwerre local government council for the inauguration was borne out of the various commitments and support the local government council had given to the development of healthcare service delivery in the LGA and the state at large.

Also speaking, a representative of SOML, Dr. Pauline Green, said the federal government healthcare programme was concerned with the health indices on maternal and birth of saving one million lives, adding that over 800,000 pregnant women and 200,000 children under the age of seven dies every year from sickness that can be stopped by a simple correction.

“SOML is to stop our mothers and children from dying, let our mothers go for HIV screening, go for their antenatal care service, give their new born babies vitamins A, ensure that they sleep on a treated mosquito net to stay alive,” she stated.

She assured of the continued support of the organisation in all issues relating to mother and child healthcare in the state at all times.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman of Ikwerre LGA, Engr. Samuel Nwanosike thanked the state government and the primary health care management board for choosing the LGA for the flag off of the health programme.

He added that the programme was an indication and commitment exhibited by the Rivers State and federal government to lay a strong foundation for the nation’s future, saying that “any nation that fails to plan for its future has no basis of existence.”

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