….Says Maternal and Child Health Care Should Be Given Top Priority
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of IOK Educational Foundation, Prince Ike Okorafor has canvassed on the need for all stakeholders to join hands to empower the women with the critical skills and sensitize them on the factors responsible for pregnancy-related complications and ways to avert deaths during childbirth in Abia State.
Prince Ike Okorafor made the call on Monday 3rd January 2022 at the Inyom Ozu Abam Hall, Ozu Abam in Arochukwu LGA while speaking during the one-day sensitization program/ project launch on Maternal Health Improvement in Abam communities with the theme, ” Improving Maternal Health in Abia State”, which is his 2022 Annual Accord Project under the auspices of his foundation, the IOK Educational Foundation.
The United State’s Public Health Specialist noted that the public health crisis in rural areas has become a threat to motherhood which has led to increased maternal and infant mortality rate, as a result of many factors which includes poverty, lack of sensitization, traditional or cultural beliefs, and practices, lack of social support networks, and weak health systems, hence, why his Educational Foundation moved to launch the Accord Project 11 to help save the lives of our women of childbearing age.
” This project aims to empower our women with the critical skills and expertise to identify dangerous signals during pregnancy and the urgent need to seek help which IOK Foundation will always support. We want to improve the delivery channels and increase the utilization of maternal and child health resources including care by addressing the social determinants of health with a direct impact on improving maternal and infant health outcomes in rural communities in Abia State”, he added.
Prince Ike Okorafor used the medium to express deep appreciation to sponsors of the project, especially Chief James Umeh (Ike Abam), the founder of UNUBIKO FOUNDATION, and the Executive Chairman, Arochukwu LGA, among others, whom he described as progressive and developmental partners, that are so passionate in providing succour to the needy and the less privileged.
Also speaking, the Executive Chairman of Arochukwu LGA, Prince Dan Kalu, who chaired the occasion thanked the project sponsor, Prince Ike Okorafor for his foresight and health intervention program in Abam, which he said will help mitigate the adverse effects of women and child mortality orchestrated by lack of sensitization and lack of fund for the women in seeking medical attention when the need arises. He reiterated his administration’s avowed determination to partner with individuals and groups in providing the women and the less privileged access to good medical care and also supported the program financially.
In their separate speeches, the President General, Ozu Abam Development Union and his woman counterpart lauded the giant strides of their illustrious son, Prince Okorafor. They noted that Prince Okorafor has used his foundation to enhance academic learning in Abam where he has empowered more than 500 youths who have benefitted from his scholarship and empowerment scheme. They urged him never to relent in his goodwill but continue to better the lives of his people, as he has already written his name on the marble.
While reacting to the program, some of the benefitting women who took their turn to speak all expressed joy for the enlightenment program and thanked the sponsor, for his tremendous service to humanity. They appreciated his efforts in remembering the downtrodden, and especially for organising the public health program, adding that the health education has built their knowledge, skills and positive attitudes about pregnancy and childbearing stages.
” The knowledge gained from this well thought out program will help us to improve and maintain our health, prevent disease and reduce risky behaviours associated with childbearing”. They said.
Highlights of the program were sensitization of women on ways they could contribute to reducing maternal mortality in rural areas which was handled by professional medical experts, Maternal Gifts to the rural women and the official launching of the program.