Sunday, December 15, 2013

I am no longer Patience, call me ‘Mama Peace’ – First Lady changes name

In her continuous campaign against the Boko Haram insurgents
threatening the peace of the country, First lady, Patience Jonathan
had assured the nation that she wont relent until the battle against
terrorism is won, adopting the name, Mama peace, which she said was
aimed at returning peace to all parts of the country.
Mrs. Jonathan made the declaration on Friday while inaugurating the
Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme Maternal and Child
Health, otherwise known as MAMA Project. She had stressed that
henceforth, she should be addressed as "Mama Peace owning to her
various peace projects."
She said that one major reason why the change of name became necessary
was her continuous campaign against the menace of Boko Haram Islamic
sect in Nigeria.
Mama Peace also stated that her non-governmental organisation, Women
for Change Initiative, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with
some international health agencies and hospitals to build, equip and
manage the best hospital for women and children in Africa.
According to her, "My name is no more Patience but now Mama Peace
because I believe that without peace, there will be no more women, no
more children and no more health sector. Without peace, the
international community will be afraid to come and invest in our
"Peace is from the heart and not from the tongue or lips; not what you
say but what is in you. We pray for genuine peace because peace is the
key to our arriving at our desired destination as a nation.
"We are approaching the new year which is a year of peace, progress
and so many good things to come. 2014 is going to be a year of no
militancy and no Boko Haram because God will shower peace and make us
take a U-turn from disaster."
She said that her primary aim was to redeem both women and children,
adding that it was her concern and interest in their well-being that
made her go in search of help from international partners and agencies
to establish the best women and children hospital in Africa.
"That was why I went in search of help; that is why soon I'm going to
sign an MoU with some international hospital to build one of the best
hospital here in Nigeria that will be the best in Africa. The hospital
is almost completed and will soon be equipped and then our
international partners will run it to provide the best healthcare to
our women and children," the President's wife stated.
On the MAMA Project, the first lady said the initiative was targeting
500 primary health care facilities and 125 General Hospitals in the
country, describing it as an important milestone in the nation's
efforts to ensure maternal, newborn and child survival.
She added that, "As you are aware, complications related to pregnancy
and child birth are among the leading causes of mortality and
morbidity in women of reproductive age in developing countries –
Nigeria is no exception.
"Available statistics show that every minute, a woman dies of
complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. In Nigeria, experts
say it is one in 15; which means that one out of every 15 women who
give birth will die of pregnancy-related causes.
"The country has two per cent of the world's population but accounts
for 10 per cent of global maternal and under-five deaths. However, the
good news is that, current figures from the National Bureau of
Statistics indicate appreciable reduction in maternal mortality ratio
from 545 per 100,000 live births to 350 per 100,000 live births.
"I am happy to learn that the SURE-P MCH will not only increase
ante-natal care attendance by 52 per cent, but will also increase
skilled birth attendance by 63 per cent and postnatal care by 63 per
"I believe most of these deaths are preventable if women have access
to adequate health care services and skilled care at the time of
"The launch of the SURE-P MCH project today provides that access, with
provision of quality maternal, newborn and child health care.
"The benefits are enormous: Better infrastructure and increased human
resources to encourage greater use of health care services.
"Upgrade of community dispensaries to Primary Health Care centers and
greater involvement of more local health workers.
"Direct beneficiaries will be pregnant women and newborns, and
conditional cash transfers of N5,000 to mothers who make four
antenatal care visits, are delivered by skilled birth attendants and
make immediate postnatal care visit.
"I have no doubt that effective implementation of this project will
accelerate the country's progress towards achieving the Millennium
Development Goals, especially targets 4; to reduce child mortality and
5; to improve maternal health.
"I will use this opportunity to call on our women, particularly the
pregnant ones to take advantage of this project and utilise the
antenatal care, as well as the delivery and postnatal care services
being provided at the primary health centre nearest to them. These
services are for your good and for the good of your children."

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