The long-awaited Project Agbebi instructional video has finally been launched. The video is meant to serve as an instructional guide for traditional birth attendants (TBAs) known locally as Agbebi on safe delivery practices.
The event was anchored by the Director for Gender Development Programmes at HACEY, Ms Rhoda Robinson and attended by a host of dignitaries. These included the Australian high Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Jonathan Richardson who represented the Australian government, the sponsor/funder of the programme, the United States Consul General, Mrs Dehab Ghebread and her team and the Secretary to the Ogun State Government (SSG), Barr Taiwo Adeoluwa. Other dignitaries present at the event included Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Ogun sate, Dr Gabriel Diasi Odeniyi,Permanent Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Ogun state, Director, the State Chairman of the Association of TBAs and other Dignitaries from Ibafo LGA.
In his speech, Mr Jonathan reiterated the importance of the intervention programme for Agbebi and the people of Ibafo, most especially pregnant women and stressed the interest of the Australian government in funding the programme through HACEY Health Initiative.
The United States Acting Consul General, Mrs Dehab Ghebreab, after commending the project organizers, highlighted the alarming statistics of maternal and child mortality in Africa and most especially in Nigeria. Some of the statistics she shared include the daily death of about 800 women from complications relating to child birth with 90% of this coming from developing countries, including Nigeria. She also said that Nigeria looses 2300 under five children and 145 women on a daily basis, secondary to childhood diseases and maternal related causes that can be prevented. She expressed the commitment and readiness of the US government to improving the quality of life in Nigeria and posited that maternal and child mortality can be tackled effectively if the rural areas can be reached.
The Australian High Commissioner officially launched the video and commended the Director for a good job and re-echoed his commitment to the success of the programme.
In a show of appreciation to the Australian government, Mrs Deborah Alao, the birth attendant coordinator in Ibafo Local government area, on behalf of other members, presented Mr Jonathan Richardson with a painting depicting a healthy pregnant mother and child. The event culminated with a drama and cultural dance organized by the host community followed by group photographs.
Project Agbebi is a community health project aimed at reducing the incidence of pregnancy related deaths and complications in Ibafo, Ogun state, Nigeria by providing education and support for traditional birth attendants provision of safe birthing kits, and developing effective referral systems between TBAs and health service providers to reduce maternal and child mortality.