- * Moves to reduce maternal, neonatal mortality rates
BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has called on members of the National Assembly to visit project sites of the Desk across the country for verification.
Orelope-Adefulire made the call on Tuesday when she led a team from the SDGs Office to the 2020/2021 budget defense session before the Senate Committee on SDGs chaired by Senator Aisha Dahiru Binani (APC, Adamawa Central).
This is even as the SDGs Office revealed that the current maternal mortality rate of 512 deaths per 100,000 live births and neo-natal mortality of 39 per 1,000 live births including under-age five mortality rate of 132 per 1,000 live births were unacceptable.
The presidential aide, however, said serious interventions are been made by the office to reduce the number.
She told the lawmakers that the 2019 budget of the SDGs office was fully implemented as all projects were completed and being transferred to the beneficiaries, while the implementation of the 2020 budget suffered due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“I hope that by the first quarter of next year, we will complete all 2020 projects,” Orelope-Adefulire said while urging National Assembly members to confirm SDGs projects across the country in their constituencies as listed in the documents presented to the Senate Committee.
On the proposed 2021 budget of the Desk, she said, “I hope there will be no second wave of COVID-19 that will cause us another interruption.”
Meanwhile, speaking to journalists after the session, the SSA said the SDGs office has already responded to the challenges maternal, neonatal and under-five mortalities with the construction of Mother and Child Hospitals and strategic partnerships across the country with the aim of promoting the health of the mothers and children, reducing maternal and child mortality and improving Nigeria’s health indices.
“Another significant step towards tackling the problems associated with infants, neo-natal and maternal care was taken recently with the commissioning of a fully equipped, state of the art 100-Bed Mother and Child Care, MCC hospital in Ifon Community, Ose Local Government Area of Lagos State.
“The facilities are equipped to stop maternal, child deaths. The facilities are strategic interventions directly linked to the achievement of SDG-3 on ‘Quality Health and Well-being for all’ and other cross-cutting SDGs.
“Specifically, this Mother and Child Centres (MCC) aim to address the high prevalence of maternal and child mortalities in Nigeria in line with the mandate of OSSAP-SDGs to implement or support policies and programmes aimed at fast-tracking the achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria.
“An example of this is the 100-Bed Mother and Child Centre we are commissioning today – built and donated to the Ondo State Government by the OSSAP-SDGs.”
“It is therefore imperative that the State Government owns these strategic interventions and ensure their sustainability for the benefit of our people. As we continue to work together to achieve the transformative promise to ‘Leave no one behind’, I would like to call on corporate organizations, philanthropists and Foundations to continue to partner the government for this type of initiatives as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities.
“We will continue to prioritise programmes and interventions with potential large-scale impact for achieving the SDGs in Nigeria,” Orelope-Adefulire added.
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