Determined to arrest the high incidence of maternal mortality in the country, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc recently concluded the 2016 edition of the SEPLAT Safe Motherhood Programme in Sapele, Delta State.
The corporate social investment programme ran for two weeks in the host and impact communities of the NPDC / SEPLAT Joint Venture Assets, in Delta and Edo States.
The SEPLAT Safe Motherhood first introduced in 2011 has gained wide popularity and acceptance due to its outstanding success rate and impact on expectant and nursing mothers resident in the communities.
Speaking at the flag-off of this year’s programme, General Manager External Affairs and Communications of SEPLAT, Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, said the objective of the SEPLAT Safe Motherhood programme “is to promote safe delivery for pregnant women and young mothers in the company’s operating communities,” before adding that “every woman deserves a safe birth experience.”
She explained that the programme is in alignment with the Nigerian independent operator’s values of safety (safety of life and property) and partnership with its host communities.
Also speaking during the opening, Dr. David Odiko, a director in the Edo State Ministry of Health and representative of the state commissioner, noted that the state government recognises and appreciates SEPLAT’s frontline efforts at bringing succour to a large pool of pregnant women in communities in the state.
“From what we are seeing today, we are also confident that this programme will help educate and equip our young mothers with very relevant information on modern safe pregnancy and delivery practices and ensure a higher mother/ baby survival rate.”
The theme for this year’s initiative was ‘Child Spacing’ and it exposed women to the health benefits of child spacing for the well-being of the mother, child and the entire family.
As part of the two-week programme, Seplat also collaborated with the Delta State branch of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) and the Planned Parenthood Federation to educate expectant and young mothers aboutdanger signs during pregnancy and delivery, care of the childas well as the benefits of child spacing.
Facilitators at the training explained that these benefits include higher survival rate of children, healthier children and mothers, better bonding of infant and mother, parents’ ability to care of their children as well as better and more fulfilling quality of life.
Additionally, pregnant women were presented with safe motherhood kits, vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as insecticides and treated nets for the prevention of Malaria. They were also encouraged to adopt safe birth practices, visit the clinics periodically and seek the opinion of medical personnel when confused about anything.
Dignitaries at the formal opening of the programme includedNgozi Aiken who represented the Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, while his counterpart in Edo State was represented by Prince Uhumuamure.
Other dignitaries present included Dr M.I. Oseji, Permanent Secretary in the Delta State Ministry of Health, President of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria Delta State chapter, Dr B. Agbonle and the Chairman, Okpe LGA Prince G. E. Ejinyere
In her remarks at the end of the event, Mrs Oghogho Osazuwa of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) described SEPLAT JV CSR programmes as pacesetting and urged beneficiaries to take the lessons learnt to heart for their good and the benefit of their families