By Eddy Dibiana
The Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, AGPMPN, has said it will offer free medical services to one million mothers across the nation in celebration of its centenary anniversary coming up in May this year.
This disclosure was made by the National President of the association, Dr Ike Odo during a press conference after the first quarterly (centenary) NEC meeting of AGPMPN held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to him, the medical programme tagged: “Save One Million Nigerian Mothers Initiative” will be part of the the epochal centenary celebration as well as another demonstration of the commitment of the association to give back to the society, by working towards reducing the high rate of maternal and infant death in the country.
“We are concerned that everywhere you go on the shores of Africa and indeed globally, when you compare the results of maternal and infant mortality, it comes to show that women die the highest in pregnancy and labour in Nigeria than they do anywhere else in the world.
“Children under the age of five die the highest in Nigeria than they do anywhere else in the world.”
Odo also reaffirmed the commitment of the association to partner government to reposition the health sector in line with international best standards during the press briefing.
According to him, partnership with government became imperative in order to revamp the deteriorating Nigerian medical sector.
He emphasized that the NEC meeting was to identify the challenges associated with the health sector and proffer solution to the government.
“We are here to discuss the health sector of Nigeria, to discuss the welfare of Nigerian doctors, to discuss our interest and partnership with government, to evaluate the health system and to discover for ourselves what the challenges are, and to take up the task and responsibility to fit to bring solution. As you all know, Nigeria has not done very well in the area of healthcare delivery. We have always known that the health system of Nigeria is weak, it is sick, and very sick,” he said.
The AGPMPN President appealed to the federal government to ensure the functionality of the health insurance scheme for private doctors as they also play critical role in the treatment of patients in Nigeria.
He commended Governor Nyesome Wike for his superlative achievement in the health sector, especially the construction of the Mother and Child Hospital, adding that this numerous achievements have turned Rivers into a reference point of quality project delivery in the nation.
Odo: “We are happy to be in a state where the leadership under Chief Barrister Nyesome Wike has shown the example of what the world wants to see.
“Yesterday we were at the Mother and Child Specialist Hospital and we were elated at the vision and the passion, the commitment that the state government has put into that place. At the end of the day, that is like Dubai brought home, like America brought home.
“And if what we saw yesterday is activated, maintained and sustained with standard and quality consistently renewed, the question then would be why would a reasonable man or woman take his mother, sister, daughter or wife away from here to go to India, Dubai; to go to America?”