Applause as OSSAP-SDGs delivers Mother & Child Centre in Benue

Inside the new Muhammadu Buhari Mother and Child Centre in Markurdi

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the establishment of Mother and Child Centres, MCC, across the country as one of the very practical ways to address the reversal of the gains in the country’s health sector as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The President spoke during the commissioning of 120-bed Mother and Child Centre constructed through the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, OSSAP-SDGs in Makurdi last Tuesday.

The President who was represented by Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha noted that one of the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic was reversal of some of the gains made in the health sector.

“The establishment of such facilities as the Mother and Child Centres across the country is a very practical way to redress there reversals.

“I am happy to inform you that this is the fifth of such facility being established ‘in the country. Last year witnessed the commissioning of Mother and Child Centres in Lagos, Ondo, Kwara and Yobe States. There are fifteen more of such centres that have been completed and ready for commissioning,” said President Buhari.

Princess Orelope Adefulire and Ministers at the front of the new MCC

He therefore commended the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SSAP-SDGS, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and her team for continually ensuring that Nigeria keeps the attainment of SDGS as as a focus and an effective strategy to address some of Nigeria’s development challenges.

“Today’s commissioning is a glowing testament to the global community that Nigeria is putting and will continue to put children at the heart of SDGs’

The President therefore urged the Benue State Government to take advantage of the MCC to provide specialist care for women and children.

“The provision of the Mother and Child Centre will help to strengthen efforts by the Benue State Government to continuously provide quality health care services for mother and children, thus a key priority for the SDGS and human development.”

He also asked all stakeholders to remain committed to the SDGs 3 as a way of providing better future for children women.

“As a nation, we must continually pursue an accelerated reduction of maternal and new born mortality rate in Nigeria, not only because it aligns with Target 2 of SDG 3 on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well being for all, but because we have to make sure that every child gets to achieve his or her full potential, while the mother lives long to enjoy the benefits of child rearing.

“In other words, Nigeria has to ensure that we improve the future opportunities for women and children, using the global commitment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as an immediate strategy,” the President said.

Benue State Governor represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, speaking during the commissioning of Markurdi Mother and Child Centre

Also speaking at the occasion, the Governor of Benue State represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, commended the SSAP-SDGS for the partnership that led to successful completion of the MCC which he noted is also well equipped.

He added that the State Government has already finalised plans to attach the facility to Benue State Teaching Hospital for proper management.

In her special remarks at the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals noted that the 120-Bed Muhammadu Buhari Mother and Child Centre in Makurdi, is one of the many Mother and Child Centres OSSAP-SDGs has constructed and equipped across the country.

She expressed appreciation to President Buhari for providing the needed resources that have enabled OSSAP-SDGs to work closely with sub-national governments to deliver key interventions to fast track the achievement of the SDGs.

Princess Orelope-Adefulire pointed out that with President Buhari’s commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years and the COVID-19 pandemic challenging Nigeria’s healthcare system, strategic interventions, such as the Mother and Child Centres, have become imperative.

“Indeed, the primary and secondary effects of COVID-19 pandemic could reverse decades of human development gains and undermine the achievement of the SDGs, unless immediate action is taken and sustained. This is what we are doing right here in Makurdi, Benue State,” she said.

According to her, the new 120-Bed in Makurdi, has been equipped with state-or-the-art facilities to ensure safe delivery for women.

She listed the state of the art equipment to include two operating theatres; recovery rooms; private and general wards; scanning room; consultation rooms and laboratory, ultra-scan machine; vacuum extractor delivery set; and an emergency cart with full compliments.

According to her, the Makurdi MCC is a strategic intervention is directly linked to the achievement of SDG-3 on ‘Quality Health and Well-being for all’ as well as other cross-cutting SDGs.

“It is therefore expected that Benue state government, and indeed other state governments benefiting from such interventions, will make judicious use of the facilities in a sustainable way for the benefit of our mothers and children.

In their goodwill messages at the event, the Ministers of Special Duties George Akume, Minister of State for Health Mamora and Minister of State for Finance, Clem Agba commended OSSAP-SDGs for the establishment of the MCC.

They therefore appealed to Benue State Government to make appropriate use of the facility.

Others at the event include the Minister of state for steel and solid minerals, Uche Ogah, APC chieftains in Benue State and Benue government officials.