By Odunayo Oluwabukola, Ibadan
As part of efforts to fight the scourge of maternal and infant mortality in Oyo State, a Non Governmental Organisation, Omotayo Charity Foundation, an offshoot of the Omotayo Maternity Home (OMH), Oke-Ado, Ibadan, embarked on a walk to sensitise women on the dangers of maternal mortality, maintaining that no woman should die while bringing life to the world.
The awareness walk, tagged: “I can make a difference”, held across some major street in Ibadan, in collaboration with the Rotary Club International, was part of activities to mark the 2023 Abiye L’omo Walk for Maternal and Child Health.
While sensitising pregnant women and nursing mothers, among others, after the rally, the Head of the OMH, nurse, Consultant Midwife and Fertility Consultant, Mrs Peju Agunbiade, said over 2,000 women had benefitted from the gesture by the OMH in terms of free antenatal care, free delivery, cesarean sections, and family planning, among other services.
Agunbiade explained that the rally was inspired by the need for reawakening and increased awareness, affirming that it is wrong for a woman to die while having a baby, not to have adequate antenatal care and not to go to the hospital for antenatal care, because of financial constraints, hence the birth of ‘Abiye L’omo’.
She said: “This is a very positive and affirmative phrase, ‘Abiye L’omo’. It’s actually everything that I’m doing. I want them to have their live child, I want mothers to be alive as well and I said I’m going to change Omotayo Charity Foundation into abiye l’omo.
“I can explain what ‘abiye l’omo’ means to a non Yoruba speaker. Children are meant to be born and stay alive, mothers are meant to have their babies and go home alive. 83,000 Nigerian women die in labour every year. So we are going to be spreading abiye l’omo. If I have 10 of us in Ibadan doing abiye l’omo, we will be smiling on maternal and child health issues,” Agunbiade asserted.
The members of the Rotary Club International, Ibadan, who participated in the event, seized the opportunity to commemorate the 2023 Polio Day in the state and create awareness about eradicating Polio totally from the surface of the earth, since October 24 is celebrated as World Polio Day.
Speaking on their involvement in the event, the President, Rotary Club, Ibadan Gold, Olatunde Edunfunke, and the President, Rotary Club, Ibadan, Pathfinder, District 9125, Kazeem Olanrewaju, both said the synergy between the Rotary Club and the OMH was established in the bid to promote maternal and child health, through the total eradication of Polio.
Edunfunke stated: “Rotary Club has been at the forefront of eradicating Polio in the last 35 years. It is only in two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, that Polio is still existing and we are raising the awareness. Although Nigeria has been certified Polio free, but due to increasing population and daily births across the country, we are creating awareness for Polio immunisation for infants so that there won’t be reoccurrence.”
“We do a lot including partnership to ensure that Polio is totally eradicated and hence the relationship and synergy with Omotayo Charity Foundation, since the Abiye Lomo programme champions maternal and child health which aligns with the theme of Rotary Club too. We partner yearly to ensure we reach out to pregnant women, and nursing mothers, to ensure both mother and child get the vaccination,” Olanrewaju added.
The awareness walk, which started at the Omotayo Maternity Home, went through Oke-Ado to Oke-Bola, Ogunpa, Beere, and Molete areas of Ibadan, before terminating at St Annes School, Molete, Ibadan.