Strong political will and readiness to commit resources are two key
ingredients to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals,
Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has said. Mimiko who was
speaking at the Nigerian side event of the United Nations General
Assembly in New York on the 'Abiye' Safe Motherhood success story,
said African leaders must be ready to commit needed resources to
combat maternal and infant mortality as these are primary sources of
dysfunctions in family and economic development.
The Ondo State Governor said committing resources however entails the
possession of the political will and disposition to effect change. "We
cannot continue to give the absence of resources as excuse for the
worrisome state of infant and maternal mortality in Africa. All we
need to do is to accept the fact that tackling the set of scourge is
as important as, if not more important than, the most prioritised
engagement of government," Mimiko said.
Speaking on the specifics of his now globally-acknowledged 'Abiye'
initiative, Mimiko said his government had to embark on a
government-financed health care initiative when faced with
mind-boggling figures of mortality in the State. He said: "We vowed
that pregnancy will no longer be a death sentence in our State and we
embarked on a comprehensive process of intervention that has yielded
noticeable results in a short period of time. From a novel process of
tracking pregnant women through ICT tools, to providing care and
access at all stages of pregnancy to delivery and five weeks after, we
have provided care at no cost to the woman or her family at the point
of care. Several lives have been saved in the process."
On the strategies employed by his government, Mimiko said the whole
Abiye success story is hinged on three basic principles, which are:
"tracking of the pregnant women fem conception to delivery; opening
the health care sector for universal and free access; and allocation
of resources in the most efficient and equitable manner." He added
that the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death, an initiative to
track death of pregnant women, has provided a verifiable proof that
maternal mortality figures are falling in the State.
Several leaders from across Africa spoke of the need to share ideas
and strategies so as to maximise the time left before the 2015 target
date of the MDGs. President Goodluck Jonathan, Johnson Sirleaf Johnson
of Liberia, John Dramani Mahama of Ghana and several other african
leaders were at hand at the event to compare notes and share best
practices experience as the world prepares to round off the MDGs and
look towards post 2015 developments and goals.