Bayelsa State Government has begun to disburse N3,000 to pregnant women in the state under the Safe Motherhood Scheme to stem the tide of maternal and infant mortality.
Speaking during the maiden Infant and Maternal Mortality Summit held in Yenagoa, the state Governor, Seriake Dickson said the allowance was meant to cover the cost of antenatal care for expectant mothers every month.
He said, “In order to make it possible for every pregnant woman to deliver safely and to ensure that they are accounted for, supervised and supported throughout pregnancy up to the time of delivery, the government is announcing a safe maternity allowance of N3,000 per month to every pregnant woman in Bayelsa.
“From the moment a Bayelsa woman and every woman living in Bayelsa becomes pregnant, she is entitled to N3,000 until her delivery”.
The scheme has attracted applause from a cross-section of Nigerians including Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and a former Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki.
Governor Okowa, who launched the scheme and presented the stipends to some of the pregnant women, as the Special Guest of Honour during the occasion, commended Governor Dickson for setting high marks in governance.
Governor Okowa applauded his Bayelsa State counterpart for recognising the place of mothers in society, stressing that paying special attention to women would go a long way to building a healthy family and nation.
While encouraging mothers to take advantage of the initiative, he, however, cautioned them on the need to imbibe the practice of birth spacing for the sake of their health and general well being of the family.