By Chinenye Nwaogu

Since yesterday the social media has been awash about a part of the interview granted to Channels TV by Governor Ikpeazu.

To put the records straight it is important to start with the fact that the current rating is that Abia has the highest rate of safe delivery at primary health care centres. This is as evidenced by the national statistics. This record is as a result of some of the things the Governor alluded to in that interview.

At inception in 2015, the Governor set out to intervene at the 2 extremes of the healthcare loop. The aged to improve our average life expectancy statitics and child birth to reduce infant mortality. In 2016, Abia State Government introduced under the leadership of a US based geriatric expert a state wide geriatric care unit to visit the homes of the elderly to provide personalised health care services through that way, save the lives of many aged and sometimes abandoned old people in mostly rural communities.

On the other extreme, since 2015, Abia has invested heavily to improve primary health care centres across the state with a view to providing basic health care services to citizens especially those in rural communities. One of the strategies adopted was to provide incentives that will encourage pregnant women to deliver at these improved primary health care centres and by so doing reduce patronage of traditional birth attendants, hence reduce infant mortality.

Apart from free antenatal care, the women receive a complete birth pack which averagely cost over #7,000 and additional #500 in cash for transportation after delivery. The idea is premised on the fact that these nursing mothers come from just a few poles away from these hospitals so in a situation they do not have their means of transportation, a chartered tricycle will normally charge them #500 to convey them home.

At no time did the Governor convey the feeling that all Lactating mothers receive as support from the state government is #500. That is so far from the truth, as the total package from pre-natal, antenatal and post natal is well over #20,000 in value.

We are not unmindful of the intentions of pundits in their deliberate efforts to put Abia in bad light. The results of our health care strategy is clearly evident and just recently, our Executive secretary of the Primary health care development agency was rewarded in a nationally competed event as the public servant of the Year based on the massive improvements in our health care system especially at the primary level.

We make bold to say that irrespective of what critics may opine every Abian knows that the Abia of 2021 is so far better in all ramifications than the Abia of we met in 2015 and we continue to assure Abians and all concerned that we will leave a most improved state in 2023.

Watch an excerpt of the interview here

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