Benin City – The Edo State Government is launching a new initiative tagged ‘Help Baby Survive’ to tackle high maternal and child mortality in the state.

The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, disclosed this while briefing journalists after the weekly Edo State Executive Council (EXCO) meeting chaired by Governor Godwin Obaseki, at the Government House, in Benin City.

Akoria said the state is bringing over 65 specialists and healthcare professionals from America to provide free healthcare services to over 4000 persons in the state, in partnership with over 230 local healthcare professionals in Edo.

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She noted, “We have screened around 4,000 people and have scheduled over 300 of them for different surgeries, and another 150 scheduled for eye surgeries, all for free. Also, we would have about 3,000 reading glasses or glasses for other purposes distributed for free to Edo citizens as a result of the medical mission.

“We will engage in another training programme called ‘Help Baby Survive’ between the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the America (ANPA) and members of Edo First Lady initiative ‘Make No Pikin Die’ to address the high rate of neonatal mortality in the state and the nation at large.”

“We would train people who will improve the care babies get when they are born within the first 28 days and how to ensure they survive the first one year they are born. We will also roll out telemedicine services in the state as the services will continue after the end of the medical mission,” the commissioner added.