NIGERIA MATERNAL MORTALITY RATE DROPS BY 30% IN 4 YEARS ....PRESIDENT JONATHAN
President Goodluck Jonathan says the nation’s maternal mortality rate has dropped by 30% in the last four years.
Also, commenting on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson expressed his readiness to collaborate with the Federal Government and its Agencies, noting that arrangement has been concluded to sign the Bayelsa State Health Insurance Scheme Bill already passed by the State House of Assembly into law.
Speaking at the official commissioning of a 40-bed Comprehensive Cottage Hospital in Otuoke, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa state on Friday, the President put the nation’s current maternal mortality rate at 350 as against 500 deaths per one hundred thousand women recorded in 2008.
He added that the present administration would not relent in its efforts at attaining the MDGs target of 250 per one hundred thousand women by 2015.
Restating his commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs), especially in the Health sector, the President said all hands would be on deck at ensuring that the nation achieves its MDGs objectives in all the sectors by 2015.
“I recall that the construction of this model hospital began in 2006 as an initiative of the Bayelsa state government, but it was later taken over by the Millennium Development Goals office in collaboration with the Bayelsa State Government. It is most gratifying to come and witness not only its completion but its formal commissioning today.
All this have been made possible by the hard work, diligence and perseverance of all the stakeholders.
Nigeria, a great country is faced with a number of developmental challenges, which we have tried to confront since inception of this administration two years ago. We embarked on reforms of several sectors of our national economy with a single-minded commitment and determination.
I am glad to declare that we are making significant progress in all sectors, as it’s evident for all to see. The health sector as you are all aware is a cardinal priority of our transformation agenda. Attainment of the universal health coverage as well as provision of comprehensive health care for all our citizens is a goal we have set for ourselves”.
“Today’s commissioning event, therefore, not only underscores this commitment, it also represents yet another milestone in our drives towards actualizing the health related components of the MDGs. This model Cottage Hospital is well equipped with 40 beds facility with a well equipped laboratory, surgical theatre, Emergency and casualty ward, two blocks of staff quarters, administrative block and a morgue.
“I welcome the collaboration between the Bayelsa State government and the Federal government which has made today’s event a reality. I urge the government and the people of the state to consolidate this collaboration.
“Let me use this unique opportunity to tell Nigerians that as a government we are working extremely hard to meet up our Millennium Development Goals. As at 2008, we had 500 deaths of every one hundred thousand women that give birth to children. As at now we have reduced that to 350. The target for the Millennium Development Goals is 250 and God willing before the end of 2015, we will get that.
While urging the state government to take ownership of the health facility to ensure sustainability of the project, President Jonathan admonished that government would not site projects in communities where such properties are not guarded and protected by the people.
Corroborating the views of the President, Governor Dickson described the hospital project as a product of the collaboration between the Federal and State governments.
He said his administration is currently building five referral hospitals as well as General hospitals in all the local governments in addition to several health centres to boost healthcare delivery in the state.
His words, as you have been earlier informed, this is the product of the collaboration between Federal and state governments. And that is the way it should be, because we cannot be in competition. We complement the Federal government. The facilities here are excellent. I have received briefings that the facilities installed here are second to none. We are very grateful to you, (Mr. President)’
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu said land would be acquired to build a School of Midwifery to complement the efforts toward achieving the MDGs.
In her welcome address, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol said, the health facility was funded under the Conditional Grant Scheme of the MDGs and is well equipped to serve the health needs of the people.