BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
As part of its programme to end the 2020/21 service year, the Rotary Club of Hill-Top Calabar, has made a doled out health kits to 100 Expectant mothers within Calabar South/Calabar municipality in Cross River State.
The out gone President, Rotarian Antigha Ita, said the gesture was in line with the laid down ideals of Rotàry International Club especially in the area of maternal and child health.
Also, he said, the Hill-Top Club was moved by the fact that most pregnant and nursing mothers could not afford needed health kits during and after delivery”.
Rotarian Ita said the club was motivated to paying attention on the health of mothers and their babies because most pregnant women do not access health facilities due to lack of finance in the rural areas.
As a result of economic challenges these women were facing, we decided to embark on this based on the above explanation. We are also trying to discourage them from patronising the Traditional Birth Attendant homes for their safety during delivery.
According to him, “the club had embarked on so many projects during the period under review including health programmes in Odukpani, Akpabuyo and in Calabar South and Calabar municipality like as we are doing today”.
The out gone President regretted from investigation, most pregnant women don’t access modern health facilities because of the cost.
“This humble gesture or gift is to encourage and support them to access government health facilities near to them for health interventions rather than resorting to Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) which poses as a risk to women and their unborn child in our society, he added”
Ita said this will also go along way in reducing the risk of death associated in such homes as compared to government health centres. It is always safer to patronise standard health facilities than doing otherwise. The risk of mothers dying is on a higher rate.
The kits contains so many items mothers are always being asked for when they come for delivery. Today we are giving out 50 kits in Calabar South and 50 to be given in Calabar municipality, he added.
He said “one of the focus of Rotory is on “maternal and child health”. Last year, we were here for rotory family health week for women to access medical health intervention. Our interactionwith them mostly pregnant women shows that they are vulnerable . Most of them complained that they cannot afford to pay their bills hence the patronage to Traditional birth attendants”.
On why, this exercise was not taken to the rural areas were it is most needed, he explained “yes we are suppose to be in Akpabuyo but since the #EndSars protest, the government health centre there was vandalised and it has not been fixed. That is the reason why we decided to focus in Calabar South and Calabar municipality for now. For Calabar municipality we are going into Ikot Enebpng community. Also for Calabar South the number we are expecting was very few that is why it was moved to this place. Pregnant mothers as well as nursing mothers were mobilised from other locations to make up the figure”.
The exercise had gulped over over a million Naira with over 80 percent funded from the District grant and own counterpart funds was added.
He commended the state government for providing these standard health facilities in almost all the 18 local government areas in the state
He therefore appealed to individuals and other corporate organisations to compliment the efforts government in their own little ways. That is what Rotary International has been doing over years and that is why we are here today.
He said that with this last event at hand, the 2020/21 service year has just ended, adding “we had so many Progrmmes during the period under review. We had “trader money to market women, Peace building and Conflict resolution, maternal and child health/prevention and treatment.
Earlier, while giving out the kits to pregnant and nursing mothers, the new President, Rotarian Emmanuel Ogbeche, expressed his delight as this is his first official assignment after his election.
As earlier said, “this is the second project we are bringing here in the Primary Health Centre, Maybe Avenue in Calabar South in Cross River state. We give these items with love and passion.The bag contains items that would be useful to you during and after delivery.
Responding two expectant mothers Mrs Joy Ukeme and Mrs. Stella Slyvester, appreciated them for the kits and prayed that God will continue to use them to touch and save the lives of mothers and their babies.
The nurse in charge of the health facility, Mrs. Bassey Oyama had lauded the club for its coñsistency in using the facility to reach out to pregnant and nursing mothers always,
She prayed God tó increase their wisdom in doing good to humanity especially as it affects the lives of mothers and their unborn child
The secretary of the club M. Rotarian Ojong Onenu and the Sergeant at arms Rotarian Ekanem were among the entourage ..