The Abia government and MTN Foundation have struck a partnership to tackle the menace of infant and maternal mortality in the state.Announcing the partnership recently during the MTNF Yellow Heart Health Forum in Umuahia, the telecommunications giant reiterated its commitment to the crusade by increasing the level of awareness and perception in the country that align with global efforts to meet the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
On the decision to support the state government through the MTNF Yellow Heart initiative, the foundation's Director, Mr. Dennis Okoro, in a statement, noted: "We are very sensitive to challenges within our society, which is why we go the extra mile to make the lives of the people brighter. It is against this backdrop that the foundation created a mandate to spend towards improving the state of healthcare, education and economic empowerment."
He continued: "Abia is part of the six states selected for the MTNF Yellow Heart initiative after it launched in Abuja. We discovered that most deaths of mothers and children in our communities can be prevented using existing knowledge and proven cost-effective interventions. This is why we hope to use the initiative to address predominant issues such as attitude and cultural practice that hinder women and children from accessing healthcare services in the society."
Commending the facilitators, the wife of the governor, Mrs. Nkechi Ikpeazu, who described the initiative as noble, said it aligns with the healthcare objective of the state.
To the Commissioner for Health, Dr. John Ahukannah, the project would immensely improve the health and survival rate of women and children in the state.He said: "it is noteworthy that we have put emphasis on the development and improvement of primary health care, especially with the vulnerable groups in the state. Abia is focusing on enhancing health promotion and education, disease prevention as well as curative and rehabilitative services. This is very much in line with the Yellow Heart initiative and we call on Abians to take full advantage of this timely intervention."
The other five states captured in the programme, where various projects are either built or renovated to cater for the health needs of mothers and children, are Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna, Niger and Cross River.