The Delta State Government on Thursday gave a boost to its Free Maternal and Child Care Programme with the Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan commissioning a new 100-bed Maternal and Child Care Centre at the Warri Central Hospital.
Governor Uduaghan, who also inaugurated the Delta State Ambulance Service at the occasion, charged women to embark on family planning and promptly register for antenatal care whenever they are pregnant.
Uduaghan explained that the Government's free maternal and child care schemes were borne out of the high premium it places on the health of women and children.
"Our unflinching resolve to protect the lives and health of our women and children led to the establishment of the Free Maternal Healthcare Programme in 2007 and Free Under-Five Healthcare in 2010.
"These programmes have helped to ensure that all pregnant women in Delta State can access free healthcare throughout the period of pregnancy, delivery and afterwards while our children, below the age of five years, are guaranteed free medical treatment in all public health facilities.
"With these two programmes, we have greatly reduced the risk of injury and death in women from pregnancy related causes and in children, from diseases. Our steadily declining maternal mortality and under-five mortality rates are attestation to these facts.
"These achievements further spurred us to improve on our successes given our belief that no woman has to die neither because she is pregnant nor should any child die owing to preventable and treatable diseases.”
According to him, "This dream, fuelled and sustained by the passion to further protect lives of women and children, has led to the establishment of this ultra-modern edifice we now call the Maternal and Child Care Centre.
"This modern health facility is equipped with state of the art medical equipment and staffed with commensurate quality of manpower that can provide tertiary level maternal and child healthcare.
"With this new centre, we would be better positioned to achieve the MDGs as related to maternal and child care by the year 2015."
Addressing pregnant women at the occasion, Governor Uduaghan advised women to embark on family planning and space their births to guarantee their health and those of their babies.
He also charged women to promptly register for their antenatal care whenever they are pregnant and go to the hospital for their deliveries and stop patronising quack birth attendants.
Uduaghan while also inaugurating the state's ambulance service, explained, "the increasing carnage on our highways due to road traffic accidents is the driving force for the creation of this ambulance service...The Delta State Ambulance Service is therefore aimed at the reduction of overall morbidity and mortality in Delta State."