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Lagos gov’t launches campaign to tackle disability in infants

Gov. Sanwo-Olu & his Deputy, Dr Hamzat carrying infants during the unveiling of the programme. Photo: Omolara Omosanya

A comprehensive nutrition programme aimed at tackling cognitive and learning disabilities in newborns has been launched by the Lagos State government.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu rolled out the programme tagged “Mother, Infant and Child (M.I.C.H), an Initiative to address the nutritional needs of pregnant women across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas.

The scheme is to raise the level of care for expectant mothers in underserved communities throughout their pregnancy period and support the development of infants’ brains from the foetus to the neonatal stage, especially in the first 2,000 days significant in a child’s formative stage.

“Our target is to reach 5,000 underprivileged pregnant women who will be selected by doctors and specialists in each primary healthcare centre across the State to access the M.I.C.H food packs that contain recommended daily nutritional composition of protein, carbohydrate, lactose, milk fat, fibre, calcium, folic acid and multi-vitamins.” the Governor said.

The benefitting pregnant women would also receive quality care and follow-up through home visits by a team of public and state-approved private community health workers and medical consultants.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, explained that beneficiaries would go through 4 stages of care, explaining that expectant mothers would have access to a weekly supply of balanced diet.

A pilot phase was rolled out in 11 councils, with the State Government providing nutritional foods and supplements for 3,000 indigent pregnant women before the full unveiling of the programme.

The initiative would take off in flagship health centres in  Ikeja, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu, Agege, Lagos-Island, Eti-Osa, Alimosho, Somolu, Kosofe and Ibeju.

Reporting by Omolara Omosanya, editing by Muzha Kucha