Bayelsa State Governor, Honourable Seriake Dickson has mandated the 15 member newly inaugurated State Primary Healthcare Development Board to ensure that, the state's maternal and infant mortality rate is reduced to the lowest in the country in the near future.
Governor Dickson gave the charge on Thursday at the swearing in ceremony of three Commissioners and a Special Adviser in Government House, Yenagoa.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Francis Ottah Agbo, quoted Governor Dickson as saying that, more women and youths would be brought on board his administration, as a deliberate policy geared towards promoting their welfare and wellbeing.
While emphasizing that no woman in the state should lose her life, while giving birth or lose her baby, he assured members of the board of the government's full support to carry the message of safe motherhood to the grassroots.
His words: "With the signing of the Primary Healthcare Development Board Bill into law, we have created a mechanism for delivering primary health care. Bayelsa State government doesn't want even a single woman to lose her life, while trying to give birth or lose her child. Without them, no life exists."
"I expect that in no distant time, the statistics of maternal and infant mortality rate will be reversed and be the lowest in the country."
Governor Dickson also urged the board to get the database of all pregnant women in the state, noting that, the government would make available some stipends to them during the period of their pregnancy.
As part of efforts to improve women's welfare, he said the first lady of the state, Dr. Rachel Dickson would organize a conference, where medical personnel, traditional birth
attendants and other stakeholders would address the issues affecting women.
In his charge to the new commissioners, Governor Dickson assigned Mrs. Funkazi Koroye-Crooks to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment.
The Governor also announced that the Ministry of Women and Social Development, has been split into the Ministry of Women Development and the Ministry of Empowerment and Social Welfare, adding that, the newly sworn in Mrs. Faith Opene will be in charge of either of the two ministries.
Mr. Gabriel Apaingolo's portfolio is also expected to be announced in due course.
Prof. Rose Ezonbodor-Akwagbe was also sworn in as a Special Adviser to the Governor on Maternal and Neo-Natal Welfare.
Chairman of the Primary Health Care Development Board is Dr. Victoria Denenu, while Dr. Bekesu Amakepreye Martins is to serve as the Executive Secretary.
Other members are, Dr. Bomokumo Kpokiri, Dr. Aganaba Douiye, Mrs Aladei Philomina and Mrs. Doris Nestor.
Also to serve on the board are Mrs. Victoria Owutubo Samuel, Mrs. Aperetari Ogugu, Izibeloko Jack Ideh, Ebike Tolukoro and Dr. Jeremiah Israel to represent the Nigeria Medical Association.
The board also has representatives of the state Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Medical and Health Science Laboratory of Nigeria and the state Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
Responding, Chairman of the Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Victoria Denenu promised to work towards reducing the maternal and infant mortality rate, before the end of this year.