Parents of multiple births in Ekiti State now have some hope, thanks to the efforts of the wife of the state Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi.
Although multiple births are usually supposed to be cause for celebration, the burden of taking care of the bundles of joy sometimes pose great challenge to indigent parents, especially when such multiples arrive in addition to existing children.
It is no longer news that some husbands used to abandon their wives and the hapless infants and flee from home whenever they are confronted with such situation.
On June 9, 2011, the First Lady gave hope to such families when she took a huge leap forward to launch the Multiple Birth Trust Fund, which is exclusively devoted to the cause in the state.
The MBTF is located in the state’s ministry of women affairs, social development and gender empowerment and works in collaboration with the Ekiti Development Foundation. The EDF, which is devoted to empowerment of women and the youth, is also an initiative of the First Lady.
No fewer than one hundred mothers of twins and triplets received financial support during the launch of the MBTF, in Ado-Ekiti.
The launch of the trust fund was one of the three high points of a meeting of Health Policy Officials and Stakeholders in Health, held in the state.
Speaking during the launch, the governor’s wife, who is also the President of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), said the objective of the fund was partly to ensure that families with multiple births were adequately supported by government to lessen the burden on them.
She said that the fund hoped to realise the objective by investing in the education and health care of the newborns.
Lamenting the high mortality rate among multiple births, the governor’s wife promised that expectant mothers would now have better access to good health under the Dr. Kayode Fayemi-led administration.
She promised to do all within the available resources of the state to reduce infant mortality and improve maternal health care during and after childbirth.
Erelu Fayemi stressed the importance of partnership, cooperation and collaboration in the activities of government as the basic principles of success, adding that women should embrace the trust fund to enhance its success.
She charged pregnant women to patronise government hospitals and access the quality health facilities that government had already put in place in such places.
A total sum of 2.5 Million Naira was disbursed to one hundred mothers at the ceremony.
Other high point of the meeting was the presentation of Maternal and Child Health Records Book and dialogue on Reproductive Health.
The Deputy Governor, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, launched the Maternal and Child Health Records Book and advised mothers to make use of the booklet to assist them to plan and manage their families effectively.
The Deputy Governor said government would prioritise maternal health and gender equality to enable women to have better health care, adding that government would provide free health services to pregnant women and children under age 5.
She seized the opportunity to inform the gathering that the state government had enacted laws to protect women and secure their reproductive health, particularly by prohibiting harmful widowhood rites, female genital mutilation and gender-based violence.
Last modified: February 2, 2012