MONEY TALKS! See How Bayelsa Govt. Got Women Hooked On Medicare
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has applied the power of money in making women in the state who rely on traditional means of childbirth to embrace medicare services.
Women in Bayelsa State patronise Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) more than they go for antenatal care and the Governor has used money to lure them to hospitals in a programme he called Bayelsa State Safe Motherhood Scheme which was launched on Wednesday.
A 3,000 Naira stipend was attached to the Scheme and that was what drew the women, over 6,000 of them to the venue of the event.
Bayelsa is one of Nigeria's major oil producing states and part of the oil money has now flowed into the hands of pregnant and nursing mothers.
But were they informed that terms and conditions apply?
An event to commemorate the start of the initiative, which will hold monthly, held at the D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall.
In his speech, Governor Dickson said the difficulty in convincing women to go give birth at hospital birthed the cash incentive.
"We thought about what will make women come to hospital and we decided to added money to it to lure, most especially, pregnant women to hospitals.
"Pregnant women in the our state believe so much on TBAs and we needed to make them embrace the scheme which is aimed at reducing maternal mortality in the state.
"Pregnant woman who register with a government hospital for medicare, will receive 3,000 Naira," he said.
Governor Dickson, who has few months to the end of his administration, also pointed out that pregnant women's antenatal attendance has increased.
"They must also attend antenatal classes else, they won't receive stipend for that month," the Governor said.
In Bayelsa, there are so many young ladies - single mothers - with children who are not living with the fathers of their children.
Sex is fun, some of them had told Bounce News, contributing graciously to the population of the state.
Their love for 'skin-to-skin sex' was glaring when health workers who were offering family planning advice at the venue of the event offered most of them condoms and they turned it down.
"Our men are always ready to impregnate our women, but the women will have to comply with the requirement to be able to get the stipend," Governor Dickson said.
Over 6,000 pregnant women and nursing mothers were at the venue of the event.
Bounce News asked the Commissioner of Health, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu, where and how the other months' stipends would be paid, but he declined to respond.
Will it just end at the venue of the launch of the programme or continue as promised? Time will tell.
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See more pictures from the event