Lagos State Government has flagged-off a pilot programme for Mother, Infant and Child, tagged “M.I.C.H”, aimed at providing nutritional foods and supplements for 2,200 indigent pregnant women in 11 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas across the State in the pilot phase of the scheme.
The First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu while flagging-off the initiative, said in realisation of the roles of women in the socio-economic development of any nation, a proactive government will take issues relating to woman and child wellness very seriously as that is the foundation of national development.
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mrs. Funmilayo Omotosho, added that the government, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), on the need to reduce neonatal and maternal mortality, has ensured that the promotion of child and maternal health remains pivotal to Lagos State’s development.
She further stated that, in Lagos State, healthcare features prominently as one of the pillars of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the present administration with an emphasis on the provision of affordable, qualitative and accessible healthcare and improvement of primary healthcare facilities in the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the State for all citizens, irrespective of their locations or status in the State.
“As a Health Practitioner, I can appreciate the multiplier effects of this programme on the health of the expectant mother, the foetus, the growing baby, the State and the nation at large. I must commend the Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, for this initiative, which I must say, is one of my long term visions for the mother and child healthcare in our State”, the First Lady said.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Special Adviser, Princess Aderemi Adebowale said the M.I.C.H programme is a component of the ‘Womb to School’ initiative, which is a basket of social services initiated by the Office of Civic Engagement with the aim of supporting the development of socially responsible citizens from the womb through infancy, childhood, youth and into adulthood.
She said at the full launch of the scheme, 5,000 underprivileged pregnant women would be strictly selected by doctors and specialists in each primary health care centre across the State to access the M.I.C.H food packs, which contain recommended daily nutritional composition of Protein; Carbohydrate; Lactose; Milk Fat; Fiber; Vitamins A, C, D3, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, Calcium and Folic Acid.
According to her, “A M.I.C.H Food Collection Card would be issued to and signed by each beneficiary to monitor the distribution of the food items and ensure adequate care is provided to the beneficiaries on a weekly basis at Ikeja, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu, Agege, Lagos-Island, Eti-Osa, Alimosho, Shomolu, Kosofe and Ibeju flagship health centres. The programme is being experimented so as to determine the best approach to the planning and implementation of the scheme Statewide”.
“In addition, the Office of Civic Engagement would ensure that the participating pregnant women receive qualitative healthcare and follow-up through home visits by a dedicated team of public and State-approved private community health workers and medical consultants. Also, each of the beneficiaries would be given access to a toll-free line with a membership of a social media chat group created in each local government area for direct feedback as part of the monitoring and evaluation process of the Office of Civic Engagement”, she explained.
Princess Aderemi, however, said that the sustainability of the programme is largely dependent on the financial, technical support and goodwill of donors, sponsors and volunteers whilst acknowledging the interest already shown by some partners.
She, however, called on more public and private organisations, particularly in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, manufacturing and healthcare sectors, as well as local and international development agencies, non-governmental bodies and well-meaning individuals to support Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his efforts to secure the future of our dear State.