Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has, since the launch of the Mother Infant Child Health Development (MICHD) Programme, fed about 5,000 indigent pregnant women registered in Public Healthcare Centres (PHC) across the 20 LGAs and 57 LCDAs of the State.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi disclosed this in his address during Phase IV of the Mother Infant and Child Development programme organised by the Office of Civic Engagement for another set of 570 indigent pregnant women in the State, held at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja,
The Commissioner stated that the MICHD, launched by Mr. Governor on the 22nd of September, 2021, is a component of the Office of Civic Engagement’s “WOMB TO SCHOOL INITIATIVE”, designed as a preventive rather than a curative security measure geared towards making Lagos safer by the year 2050.
While commending the effort of the State Government on the initiative, the Commissioner said Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is determined to ensure that all children in the State have access to good health, food, education and ample opportunities to excel.
He added that eating healthy during pregnancy helps foetal development while also eating healthy after pregnancy helps the mother to lactate very well and give the children the necessary breast milk that is required for child brain development.
Earlier, the Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale said the Mother Infant and Child Development ‘MICHD-2050’ programme is an initiative that looks at security from conception, to birth, to adolescence and into adulthood.
She explained that a nutritional link to the security of Lagos State, is the belief that the best time to plan for “A Rising Greater Lagos” is today. Hence, the MICHD-2050 Project is driven by the notion that when a child’s brain is fully formed, both the child and the State will benefit from adequate and sustainable human capital investment towards having “CIVICALLY RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS” who will contribute positively to the socio-economic development of the State.
Princess Adebowale averred that the programme is dedicated to providing weekly nutritious food packs and pregnancy education to aid proper foetal brain development and safe delivery by focusing on the brain development of the child while in the womb.
She added that from the first phase of the MICHD Programme piloted in the year 2020, 2,000 indigent pregnant women benefited; the second Phase, had 1,140 comprising beneficiaries divided into 20 control and experimental groups to measure the impact of the food on the mothers and their babies while the third phase had another 570 women who received food packs which contained all the required nutrients to help in proper brain development of the foetus for 24 weeks starting from their second trimester till delivery.
“Aside from the plan to provide food packs containing daily nutritious food and supplements for 570 pregnant women and nursing mothers, this fourth edition also showcases 228 nursing mothers who had earlier benefitted from the postnatal programme, that will now get a maternity box containing baby clothes and baby care articles”, she said.
General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency, LASHMA, Dr. Elizabeth Zamba said her agency has been on the MICHD journey with the Office of Civic Engagement for three years since it was first conceptualised.
In her words: “it is a programme that we are fully aligned with because we are all about improving the quality of life of Lagos residents, especially Mothers and Children. Even the ILERA-EKO plan, the way it is designed, favors mothers and children and offers them the best health care.
She said the agency will be enrolling 570 mothers on the ILERA-EKO plan for the next year, while those previously on it, will be renewed, so that they can continue to have qualitative health care.
“This is a passion of Mr. Governor and also the Commissioner for Health as we journey towards universal quality healthcare”, Dr. Zamba reaffirmed.
The Chief Executive Officer, Gero Care, a consulting firm working with the MICHD programme, Dr. Ajibola Meraiyebu said “With this remarkable journey, we have seen all the changes and help that this project has brought to all the women. We have records of these women and we have been tracking and monitoring them throughout this journey”.
“These records are there to help the Ministry so that artificial intelligence can be introduced in the care of the women and children in Lagos and I know that there is an intention to touch every woman across the State”, he added.
Dignitaries present at the event include Permanent Secretary Primary Health Commission, Dr. Ibrahim Mustapha; the Technical Adviser to the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olamide Okunlaja and the Supervisors for Civic Engagement for Local Government and Local Council Development Areas among others.