Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde on Wednesday launched a new healthcare system for mother and child called Tomo Ti’ya Initiative.
While inaugurating the steering committee and technical working group for the initiative, Makinde who was represented by his deputy, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan noted that the plan is to ensure qualitative maternal and child health services.
Olaniyan stressed that the state will advocate meeting the World Health Organisation recommendation of four or more antenatal care visits during pregnancy.
He said: “Before we came into the office last year, we had studied statistics on the various sectors in Oyo State which formed a basis for what our focal points would be.
“One of the sectors that we realised we had to focus on was the healthcare sector. We knew there were huge infrastructural deficits in the sector. But something else that caught our attention was the quality and cost of healthcare and their multiplier effect on the vulnerable.
“For example, Oyo State has an estimated population of 8.4 million, of which about 1.7 million are children under 5 years of age. Yet, we have very high neonatal mortality, infant and child mortality. From the 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), we saw that in Oyo State, the rate of a child under the age of one dying is 41 deaths per 1000 live births.
“That puts us as the third worst in Nigeria after Kano and Jigawa. Oyo State contributes over 30% of the total of all infant mortalities in Nigeria.There are other negative indices, but I have chosen to share just this one to show us how bad things were before we came into office. Now, we are determined to turn this around. Oyo State has no business being in the list of worst states in terms of deaths due to deliveries being taken by unskilled birth attendants and unmet needs of family planning. Therefore, we have gone to the drawing table and come up with an initiative that will drastically reduce these figures.”
Olaniyan added: “It is this project that we are here today to inaugurate – the Tomo Ti’ya Initiative.
“As the name suggests, the initiative is for the mother and child. It is one key way through which we will be meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) number three, which targets improving maternal health.
Our plan is to ensure qualitative maternal and child health services are offered at minimal cost.
”This will enable us meet the objectives of this initiative. We are aware, that in 2023, when this administration will be winding down, there will be another NDHS report. When that report comes out, we would like to see drastic reductions in these negative indices. Our goal is to reduce maternal mortality by 30% and reduce neonatal mortality by 20% in Oyo State.
“To achieve this, by the grace of God and with the dedication, hard work and commitment of everyone involved in this project, we aim to increase the number of births by skilled birth attendants in the state by 30% while also increasing the health care facility utilisation in the state to 60%.”
“So, we hope to start piloting some of the programmes under this initiative in the shortest possible time. One of the important things we will be advocating is meeting the WHO recommendation of four or more antenatal care visits during pregnancy. The statistics show that when pregnant women are able to make at least four visits, the major complications that account for nearly 75% of all maternal deaths are prevented.
“As you embark on your deliberations to provide a blueprint on how we are to achieve these objectives, I must especially thank the implementing partners for accepting to be members of this important initiative. I pray that your source of ideas never runs dry as you think up creative I ways of getting us off that list of worsts.”
Speaking on the objective of the initiative, the Executive Secretary, State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr Muideen Olatunji said the mission is to initiate a consultative process between all stakeholders to identify priority areas and identify clear strategic directions for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health.
Olatunji added that the goal is to reduce maternal mortality in the state by 30% and reduce the neonatal mortality in the state by 20% by the next NDHS which is in 2023.
In his goodwill message, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashiru Bello said the initiative if properly key into will reduce child and maternal mortality rate in the state.