Dr. Nafissatou Diop from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Prof. Friday Okonofua and Prof. Sanni Yaya the Principal investigators of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) program in Edo state, Dr. Ermel Johnson from West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), Dr. Wilson Imongan, Executive Director Women’s Health and Action Research Centre and other WHARC team witnessed the women and child development public health awareness and fund raising program organised by Okpekpe community in collaboration with WHARC on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at the Palace of the Onwuweko of Okpekpe kingdom.
The event was organised to raise awareness on the need for the community to visit health centres for maternal care, while fund raising is aimed at managing the community based health insurance scheme and drug revolving funds.
While giving his welcome speech, the king of Okpekpe, HRH. Apa Peter Abalume Osigbemeh stated that prior to the commencement of the project, Okpekpe PHC has been without a medical doctor and Okpekpe is far from the State Capital (Benin City) which was a big disadvantage. There was high maternal and child death in the community. However, with WHARC interventions, providing a medical doctor, affordable drugs, and a community-based health insurance scheme, there has been tremendous improvement in the PHC and wellbeing of the citizenry of Okpekpe. He thanked WHARC and the IMCHA project funders.
The Executive Director WHARC, Dr. Wilson Imongan gave an overview of the project and facilitated the fund raising. A total of 580,000 Naira was raised.
The Director of Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA) represented by Dr. Innocent delivered a key lecture on Primary Health Care Centre: A Vehicle for Delivering Maternal and Child Health Services in Rural Edo State. In his lectures he encouraged pregnant women to observed good personal hygiene and make use of the PHC.
The ward development committee chairman gave a community report and shared the testimonies of improved maternal and child health since the inception of this project. He expressed his gratitude and promise to do more by sensitizing the pregnant women in the 13 wards of the Okpekpe kingdom. Among others in attendance who donated funds on the day were the special assistant to the governor on sports, Etsako East LGA PHC coordinator, representative of the chairman Esan South East LGA, representative of Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency, representative of the Office of the Deputy Governor Edo State, traditional rulers, chiefs, WDC chairman and Nurses of Ewatto Community. The program ended with a message of gratitude and cultural display.