By Oluwatobi Fademi

The wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has again enlisted the support and commitment of Olori’s across Ondo Northern Senatorial District in a bid to improve Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent + Nutrition (RMNCAH + N) in their carious communities.

Speaking at the 2nd phase of the meeting with Olori’s across the state held at the Owo City Hall, Mrs. Akeredolu traced the birth of ‘Olori Connection’ as an intervention programme put together in response to the deep concerns expressed by the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari.
According to her, some of issues of concern include the rising profile of women who die from pregnancy complications, rising number of child mortality, deficiency in nutrition among others.

“Another issue that was raised was that of birth registration – more than half of Nigerian children are not registered. Most of our children die before they reach the age of 5 years – this is unacceptable. You are going to work hand in hand with Akowe Abiye who are retired nurses and teachers in your community.
“We need information in order to be able to plan for the development of this state. We want to know how many children we have; how children died and how many of them survived. With this information, we will be able to plan properly”, Mrs. Akeredolu stressed.

She also called for the support of the Olori in order to make the vision a reality. “I need your support; I need your commitment because I recognize your role in the society”.

The Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board (OSPHCDB) representative who spoke on behalf of Dr. Francis Akanbiemu, the Executive Director stated that women are vulnerable thus their health and that of their children must be prioritized as captured in RMNCAH + N plan.

Mr. Isaac Oluyemi, the Director, Ondo State National Population Commission in his paper explained the importance of registering birth as well as death.
According to him, available statistics showed that 53% of children given birth to in Nigeria have not been registered which is unacceptable.
He enjoined parents to always endeavour to register the birth of their children so that government can be in a position to adequately plan for its citizenry. He also used the opportunity to laud the initiative – ‘Olori Connection’, expressing optimism that the programme will have an impact in no time.

Also stressing the importance of birth registration, Dr. Banke Olufemi enjoined parents to register the birth of their children as it is one of the fundamental rights of the child.

Other facilitators at the event include Mrs. Ojumu Roseline who presented a paper on the importance of Immunization For Pregnant Women and Newborn; Mrs. Lucy Akinkuotu who explored the benefits of healthy nutrition and Ms. Nkem Ijere from Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu Foundation (BAAF) who spoke on sanitation and the need for proper hand washing.

The climax of the event however was the signing of an undertaking to stay committed to the cause of RMNCAH + N by all the Olori who were in high spirit for the task ahead.

In attendance at this epoch making event was also the wife of the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Mrs. Ajewole Ajayi, the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Olatunji Edet among others.