Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has called for more involvement of government and other stakeholders in the provision of free healthcare for pregnant women and children under five years. 

Okowa made the call on Saturday when he received the National  President of Police Officers Wives Association (POWA), Hajia Hajara Alkali-Baba, on a courtesy visit at Government House, Asaba. 

He said more provisions by government and organisations for free medical care for the vulnerable, especially pregnant women and children, would check rising rate of maternal and infant mortality in the country. 

The Governor commended the POWA President for her three-point agenda of welfare, health and education of police officers’ families, which he said would help not only the women but the entire family and the nation. 

He noted that Nigeria had a very bad record of maternal and infant mortality, which ought not to be so, pointing out that Delta commenced the provision of free basic healthcare for pregnant women and children since 2016 and urged the Federal and state governments to work assiduously in this regard to address the ugly trend. 

“I believe that it is not too much in this country to ensure the health of women and children, particularly for those under five years of age where most of our children die needlessly. 
‘As a country, we can truly resolve and be able to fund it. Clearly put this people in our mind that they are vulnerable in the society and therefore have programmes that can truly impact on their lives.

“Every child under five years of age and pregnant women should truly be able to access basic healthcare free of charge. 

“It is something we can do because successive governments in Delta have been doing it and we have not found the burden to be too high. 

“I encourage the Federal Government and states to take this seriously so that we can provide basic healthcare services for these categories of people,” he said. 

Okowa said a greater role must be played by the government to encourage women to enable them stand for the family and make the home more peaceful. 

“We know that in this country when you truly empower a woman you have not just empowered that woman, you have actually empowered the family. 

“This is because if the woman is able to stand out and take care of the family, the burden on the men is less, the children are likely going to grow up as better citizens of this country. 

“When the home is peaceful, our children are more focused and their education is better assured and when the health of the family is right everything will have to work well. 

“The best way we can actually reach out to the poorer people or less-privileged is to ensure that the health of the family is good and the education of their children is assured and the woman is empowered in one little way or the other to be able to ensure there is food in the house. 

“I know that there are all manner of subsidies and empowerment projects but we must find a way to target these empowerment to affect the lives of the poor in such a manner that they will be able to survive the harsh economy,” the Governor stated. 

Earlier, Hajia Alkali-Baba said her delegation was in the state to encourage the police family because they had been demoralised since after the ENDSARS protest. 

The IGP’s wife stated that she had prioritised welfare, education and health of police officers’ wives and families in her three-point agenda. 

The POWA President said she had visited six states, including Delta, since assuming her position, because she was desirous of encouraging police officers’ children to perform optimally in their education.

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