A part of efforts to reduce infant morbidity and maternal mortality in the state, more than 300 expectant mothers’ from the 31 Local Government Areas of the State have benefited from the third phase of free medical care and as well took delivery of maternity packs courtesy of Martha’s Pregnacare Outreach. With the theme: Pregnancy, Child Birth, and Beyond, the program is a brainchild of Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-Initiative (FEYReP), a pet project of the Akwa Ibom State Governor’s wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel.

Speaking at the event held at Ibom Hall, Uyo, FEYREP’s founder, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, said the outreach which is geared towards reducing death at childbirth, has over the years been able to educate and assist expectant mothers cope with the demands of pregnancy. The first lady noting that she was not against the practice of traditional birth attendants, said she was more concerned about the procedure of delivery in those homes, stating that there have been unwarranted cases of death and transmission of deadly diseases from them. Mrs. Emmanuel encouraged the pregnant women to register for their antenatal on time and always seek medical attention whenever the need arises.

She further advised the women on dieting, family planning, and the need to support their husbands by engaging in economic activity that would reduce their suffering after pregnancy. Setting the tone for the event, the coordinator of FEYReP, Mrs. Ime Inyang, had earlier appreciated the Governor’s wife for the program, averring that it is focusing on addressing pregnancy-related issues. While admonishing the women to adhere wholly to the teachings received, Inyang noted that as a result of the initiative, succor has been given to many families. She also restated Mrs. Emmanuel’s unbridled commitment to the welfare of women, pointing out that more of such programmes will take place in the nearest future.

Health talk was given by different speakers. These include the Hon. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong who spoke on the topic: Traditional Birth Attendants, their role in Pregnancy and Child Delivery; Dr. Enobong Mkpang on the topic ‘Delivery and Postnatal Delivery Challenges’; Dr. Imabong Inwang on the topic ‘Foetal Development and Trimesters in Pregnancy’; and Dr. Mary Udoh who spoke on ‘Preventing Infant Morbidity and Maternal mortality (Harmful Practices). They all charged the women on good dietary habits, pregnancy-related ailments and the need for proper medical attention during pregnancy. The resource persons spoke against pregnant mother’s patronage of Traditional Birth Attendants, urging them to always engage in proper medical check-up to detect early anomaly during pregnancy. They thanked the Governor’s wife for the platform to educate the pregnant women, stating that it will drastically reduce pregnancy-related deaths in the state.

There were goodwill messages from government functionaries, while testimonies from beneficiaries of the previously held event attested to the educative role it played during their pregnancy. In a vote of thanks, Mrs. Nyakno Francis speaking on behalf of the expectant mothers appreciated the Governor’s wife for the educative platform provided them and promised to heed to the advice given.