Mrs. Bagudu promoting exclusive breastfeeding and maternal mortality in Kebbi
When her husband was sworn in as the Governor of Kebbi State over two years ago, Dr. Zainab Atiku Bagudu took the responsibilities of the office of the First Lady with the seriousness never witnessed before by repositioning a hitherto dormant and obscure office to a highly functional and relevant one, through deliberate, focused and articulated programme aimed at building bridges of compassion, love and care to women, children and under privileged in the state.
With this window of opportunity by this lady of vision and compassion, another dimension of governance was unfolded in the state.
One undaunted by hardship or inconvenience, her role during the electioneering campaign alongside her husband revealed her resilience and commitment to a cause, the same virtues she has deployed in this noble crusade.
Well known for her philanthropy, being wife of the governor has provided a platform for the incorporation of her vision into the overall success of the government by working assiduously to meet the growing need of disadvantaged ones in society.
In the past two years, she has touched many lives in diverse ways, including infants, children, orphans, women and the despondent across the state, particularly immunisation, de-worming, VVF, maternal mortality, cancer, malaria, breastfeeding and HIV/AIDs, among others.
Mrs. Bagudu, who is an advocate of exclusive breastfeeding and promoter of maternal mortality, has initiated various programmes and projects aimed at reducing the rate of maternal mortality and improving health care service delivery in the state.
Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, was on ground to commission breastfeeding rooms for working mother at the Gwadangaji Secretariat, Birnin Kebbi, the state capital, the first of its kind in the Northwest geo-political zone of the country, to mark this year’s World Breastfeeding Day to sustain breast feeding and promote the health of mother and child.
Mrs. Buhari, represented by her Senior Special Assistant, Mrs. Ajo Sani, said the programme would promote the health and wellbeing of mothers and children and reduce maternal mortality.
She pledged the support of her ‘Future Assured Programme’ to encourage the establishment or identification of a separate area where mothers can conveniently breastfeeding their babies in the work place.
She urged the wives of the 35 state governors to emulate the gesture and saved the lives of women in their various states.
In her remark, Mrs. Bagudu said the commissioning recalled that over 100,000 children die annually as a result of inadequate breastfeeding by mothers.
She disclosed that the governor, who approved the setting up of breastfeeding rooms for working mothers in all ministries, departments and agencies, is desirous of developing the health sector in the state.
She added that the forum would be used to train wives on advocacy methods to improve immunisation coverage, enrollment and retention of girls in schools and women empowerment schemes in the state.
“We should start to look inwards, at homegrown sustainable solutions and improvise from the abundance in our midst to improve on the current level of hygienic, nutritious and balanced diets intake of our respective families, so that together, we can turn the tide to a positive pedestal that will position our children for greater life challenges,” she stated.
The governor’s wife said this could not be achieved without the support and encouragement from the larger society, especially husbands and immediate family members.
In his speech, the state Head of Service, Alhaji Muahmadu Hudus, said the breastfeeding rooms for working mothers would improve the heath of mother and child and commended the wife of the governor for her initiative.
Speaking early, Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Ismal Kamba, also commended Mrs. Bagudu for supporting health institutions in the state, adding that the health sector has received tremendous change and development now than in the past.
Similarly, her office has developed partnership with government, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and other donor agencies to strengthen her quest to protect the lives of women, children, vulnerable and the less-privileged, which have gone a long way in enlightening the people on the need for attitudinal change about the issues of health.
Interestingly, the Zainab Bagudu Free Maternal Health Care Programme has also launched free breast cancer treatment for women, as well as campaign against malnutrition and visited all the 21 local government areas between 2015 and this year, especially in support of the less- privileged.
She is indeed a beacon of hope for women, children and the less-privileged in society.
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