Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd, Monday, has delivered maternal and neo-natal care equipment to the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta, as part of The Safe Birth Initiative, which was launched last year.
The SBI was launched in partnership with Coca-Cola partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals and an NGO, Medshare International Inc.
The initiative which is targeted to curb the high rate of maternal and newborn deaths in Nigeria focuses on strengthening the capacity of target public hospitals in three critical areas. First is the procurement of vital maternal and neonatal medical equipment and supplies to enable safe deliveries and post-delivery emergency care, while the second is training biomedical engineering technicians to improve equipment maintenance and uptime.
The third is reactivating a large stock of abandoned medical equipment wasting away in public hospitals.
Speaking during the equipment handover in Lagos, Mr. Clem Ugorji, Coca-Cola West Africa Public Affairs & Communications Director said, FMC Ebute-Metta was the second out of the 15 beneficiaries to receive from the gesture, which comprised equipment, kits and supplies value at $10.8 million, that is over N3.8 billion.
Ugorji stressed the need for private and public sector collaboration to tackle maternal, newborn and child health complications as well as deaths in the country.
According to the National Demographics and Health Survey (NDHS, 2013), Nigeria loses as many as 576 women per 100,000 childbirths and 37 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births, placing the country among the worst ratios for both maternal and newborn deaths globally.
He said, “Active and intentional collaboration between members of the private and public sector is key to transforming healthcare in Nigeria. We commend the good work our doctors and nurses are doing but recognise that there is a limit to what they can do without the critical equipment required for effective diagnosis, testing and treatment.
“Through the Safe Birth Initiative, we are pleased to be able to donate vital equipment to aid the work currently being done to safeguard the lives of mothers and babies here at Federal medical Centre, Ebute-Metta and the 14 other hospitals that will receive donations as part of the first phase of the Safe Birth Initiative.”
Responding to the gesture, Dr Adedamola Dada, Chief Medical Director, FMC, Ebute-Metta, thanked the donors and pledged to make effective utilisation and maintenance of the equipment.
Dr Dada said; “We are grateful to Coca-Cola, the OSSAP-SDGs, Medshare International and the Federal Government for this initiative. Already, since receiving the SBI equipment early this year, we have saved just a little under N10 million in medical and administrative costs.
“We have recorded and supported 21 premature births with the newly-installed incubators; 321 mothers and babies have been brought home alive; and 46,000 other patients have benefitted in some way from the SBI initiative.
“The beverage company has also ensured the sustainability of the programme and equipment, making sure we have adequate engineering capacity on ground, through the training of our engineers, for preventive maintenance.”
Commenting, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, said, her office is working assiduously to provide strategic guidance on the implementation of the SDGs in the country.
Represented by Dr. Yahaya Hamza, Head Sectors, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs), Orelope-Adefulire said by making available a wide range of vital life-saving equipment, the SBI promoting the SDGs 3.