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Welcome Adderess Presented By The Executive Director Of Lift Above Poverty Organisation (Lapo), Sabina Idowu-Osehobo At The Antenatal Care Stakeholders Meeting Held In Commemoration Of The 2020 Pregnancy Awareness Week At Egor Local Government Secretariat, Uselu, Benin City On Thursday, February 13, 2020.


The Executive Chairman, Egor Local Government

Honourable Commissioner for Health

Directors and Head of Government Agencies and Departments

Traditional and religious leaders

Healthcare providers

Gentlemen of the Press

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am exceedingly delighted to welcome you to this Antenatal Care Stakeholders interactive meeting organized by Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) as a part of the activities outlined to mark the year 2020 Pregnancy Awareness Week.

LAPO is a frontline non-governmental and not-for-profit development organization founded by Dr Godwin Eseiwi Ehigiamusoe in 1987. The organisation is committed to the empowerment of poor and vulnerable people in Nigeria through the implementation of innovative financial and non-financial development programmes, which address the root causes and manifestations of poverty such as poor health and economic powerlessness.

The theme of the weeklong global campaign which kicked off on Monday February 10 through Saturday, February 16, 2020 is Safe Motherhood and Healthy Baby. It is aimed at creating a society where every pregnancy is wanted, received adequate care from the first trimester and results to safe motherhood and healthy baby.

LAPO strongly believes that poverty is reinforced by ill-health and vice versa. Over the years, the organisation has been playing a major role in addressing the challenge of tropical diseases mostly malaria, maternal and child health. It has deployed innovative prevention, management and support approaches in the fight against poor health particularly in rural communities across the country.

Between 2015 and October 2019, LAPO improved the health conditions of over 1,377,593 persons in target communities across Nigeria with various health services including awareness creation, screening and referral services. Under the LAPO Community Campaign for Cancer Control (LAPO-C4) project implemented in Lagos, Rivers, Edo, Imo and Abuja in partnership with 12 Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), the organization reached Five Million community members with cancer awareness and basic breast, cervical and prostate cancer screening between 2016 and 2019. A total of 27,689 community members were screened for the ailment, referred 19,893 persons for screening while 339 persons with health conditions were referred for treatment in government-approved health facilities.

Access to quality health services, especially maternal and child health is poor in rural communities with poorly equipped medical facilities and lack of access to clean water, sanitation and power supply. This situation is further compounded by inadequate and skilled birth attendants most especially in rural areas where many deliveries are still provided by unskilled birth attendants. This result to high maternal and under-5 year mortality put at 700/100,000 and 120/1000 respectively.

This situation prompted the establishment of the LAPO Community Health Outreach in 2015 whereby specialist doctors are made available to women, children and other community members. Between October 2015 and October 2019, a total of 14,413 vulnerable community members benefitted from the health outreaches in Edo, Oyo and FCT, Abuja covering full medical compliments and surgery. The 16th edition of the outreach is slated to hold at the Oredo LG. Primary Health Care from March 13 – 15, 2020.

We sincerely believe that this event organised to mark the pregnancy awareness week 2020 will go a long way to promote access of pregnant women in our various communities to early and quality antenatal care and reduce the number of deaths or complications from pregnancy. We hope that this event will strengthen pregnancy awareness and highlight important issues that will promote healthy pregnancies and safe motherhood including strong referral linkage between trained health care workers in PHCs and traditional birth attendants even in remote communities.

We appreciate the support of the Executive Chairman of Egor Local Government, the PHC Coordinator and his team, community and religious leaders, market unions and women leaders, health care workers, traditional birth attendants and other stakeholders whose support made this occasion a success.

Thank you and God Bless.

Sabina Idowu-Osehobo

Office of the Executive Director

Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO)

February 13th, 2020.

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