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Health Ministry, MTN Foundation partner to tackle maternal, infant deaths

MTN Foundation, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, has inaugurated the Yellow Heart Initiative to prevent the prevailing death of mothers and their children in the country.

The campaign is part of the Foundations initiatives to provide Nigerians with information on maternal health and help improve the poor indices across Nigeria.

At the launch in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole said it was worrisome that neonatal deaths account for 32 percent of all death of infant below five years old.

Adewole, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Osaremoma Clement Uwaifo also regretted that Nigeria records 814 deaths per 100,000 live births, while 831,100 babies are born prematurely in Nigeria.

The minister commended the move by MTN Foundation and raised hopes that it will sustain the drive of the Federal government to provide adequate care for mothers and their children, saving the country from the mirage of unfortunate deaths arising from negligence and ignorance on maternal care.

He said, “The initiative is set up to address the high maternal and child mortality through targeted interventions especially among vulnerable and indigent families across select locations in Nigeria. The national launch will be followed by implementation in the selected States of the first phase of the project namely Ogun, Oyo, Abia, Cross River, Kaduna and Niger”.

The Chairman, MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi said Yellow Heart is an urgent call to purposeful action and reiterated the commitment of the Foundation to this course. He commended the support of the government and solicited for more partners in executing the programme.

He said, “It is in working collaboratively, public, private, and non-profit parties, that we can improve the health and survival rate of women and children in our country. We are truly excited to be a part of this movement; we stand with and applaud the Federal Government and the Ministry of Health, as they champion this project which will create the much-needed awareness for improving maternal and infant health in our nation.

“Our long-standing partnership with the government has facilitated the establishment of mammography centres; provision of equipment to maternal wards and primary health care centres; improved access to primary health care through the Y’ello Doctor mobile clinics and enabled the delivery of much-needed services to expectant and new mothers. We have made a long-term commitment to the health, well-being and survival of our people” Adelusi-Adeluyi said.

The Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma explained that the Yellow Heart logo is representative of the objective of the campaign and Nigerians and particularly mothers should watch out wherever they see it.

“This logo fuses the mother and newborn child in close proximity. At an angle that forms the shape of a heart… illustrating the deep and enduring connection that exists between the two. The Yellow Heart campaign stems from our appreciation of the importance of women and children to our nation’s future. This is why the MTN Foundation is passionate about making life brighter for mother and child” she said.

The Yellow Heart campaign will involve various health fora that will be utilized to create awareness on the state of maternal and child mortality in each State, the challenges, on-going interventions and future plans to improve the health of mothers and children.