The Lagos State Government has begun the research phase of Mother, Infant and Child Health (MICH) programme at the Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
This programme is a follow-up on the pilot phase flagged-off on July 28 this year by the First Lady Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu at Igbogbo-Baiyeku LGA, with a view to assessing the impact of the MICH food and supplements on 1,140 selected pregnant women.
Speaking at the commencement of the programme on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, stated that the exercise would entail the full monitoring of the 1,140 selected pregnant women’s existing conditions along with their unborn children throughout pregnancy, delivery and post-partum.
She said the MICH programme, which was extended to 11 LGAs, aims at supporting the development of responsible citizens from the womb through infancy, childhood, youth, and into adulthood.
The LGAs are: Ikorodu; Epe; Ibeju-Lekki; Eti-Osa; Lagos Island; Lagos Mainland; Kosofe; Shomolu; Agege; Alimosho; and Ikeja in the first phase.
According to Debowale, the MICH programme at full launch is targeted at 15,000 participants in the next three years.
She, however, averred that the government was kicking-off the research pilot phase with 1,140 participants comprising a cohort of 20 pregnant women each in the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs.
“This phase, tagged the ‘Research Phase’, will include independent case studies and researches involving 1,140 pregnant women with follow up and monitoring of diverse medical and social indices starting from December 1, 2020, for a period of six months.
“Our formidable team of medical and technical experts have come up with a research proposal, which will provide informed recommendations for the use of the state and federal governments, and international development agencies like the United Nations”, says the SA.
Adebowale further noted that to ensure the research phase is impactful, the government would ensure that the participating pregnant women receive qualitative healthcare and follow-up home visits by a dedicated team of public and state approved private community health workers and medical consultants.
She explained that each of the beneficiaries would have access to a toll-free line with membership on a social media chat group that would be created in each LGA.
The platforms, she emphasized, would be for direct feedback as part of the monitoring and evaluation process of the Office of Civic Engagement.
Adebowale, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to cooperate with the government’s team of medical experts, researchers, and care volunteers at every stage of the research process.
She stressed that partnering MDAs and other private partners have been assigned roles to ensure a seamless exercise.
“We have thought ahead of the need to support struggling spouses of our indigent pregnant participants; hence we have included indicators relating to the family engagement component of the MICH programme as part of our research studies,” she highlighted.
“I assure everyone on the programme that the MICH research experience, over the next few months, would not only birth healthy, virile babies, economically stable individuals and civilly responsible families, but rewrite the social inclusion narrative in our local governance and global sustainable development”, she stated.
While appealing to all husbands, partners, families and support systems of the pregnant participants to ensure that the MICH Plus Food packs meant for the sole consumption of the target participants are not abused or misused, Adebowale encouraged participants’ spouses and families to be responsible support systems to the pregnant women so that the dream of building the society, through the unborn child and the family is realised.
She emphasised the need for total cooperation of all LG/LCDA Chairmen for the successful implementation of the research exercise since it would be domiciled at the Local Government levels.
The SA further urged them to work hand in hand with the Medical Officers of Health in their domains to ensure an objective selection of participants according to the stipulated criteria.Follow us on social media