WHARC Partners Community on Maternal, Infant Mortality

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

In order to check maternal and infant mortality in rural areas, the Women Health Action Research Centre (WHARC), says it is in partnership with Okpekpe Community in Etsako East Local Government Area.

Leader of the research centre, Prof. Friday Okonofua, stated this during the 10th Okpekpe Kingdom Day, adding that the partnership would see the body strengthening the primary health centre in the community.

He said through the partnership, doctors, drugs, as well as health facilities would be deployed to the area.

Okonofua, a professor of gynecology who regretted that lack of functional PHCs, have been largely responsible for the death of many pregnant women and children before the age of five, also said women and children in rural communities were mostly affected with this phenomenon.

He said this was unacceptable and thus, WHARC would work assiduously to see to the end of this in Okpekpe community.

“Our aim is to ensure that this community reaches its potential in terms of development. We will do all that is necessary to see to the end of death of pregnant women and children before they reach the age of five.

“We want to be able to use our partnership with Okpekpe Kingdom as a launch pad to reach other community, not only in Edo but the country in general,” he said.

Also speaking, the clan head of Okpekpe Kingdom, Peter Osigbemeh, who expressed excitement over the partnership, said the community has already committed N2 million into the project.

He said his excitement over the partnership was its desire to stop the incident of death of pregnant women and that of children before they attain the age of five.

According to him, “Just before they came up with this idea of partnership, I lost a woman who delivered a quadruplet. The woman and the four children died within just two hours.

“As I speak with you, we have committed N2 million to the partnership with N1.5 million going into the renovation of doctors’ quarters and the hall for the use of the Ward Committee that have been set up.

“We have also committed the sum of N500, 000 as fund for the revolving drug fund that would make drugs available to people in the community.