As a measure to further improve healthcare standard in Lagos State, the Government has concluded plans to kick start a research project on pregnant women and would be placing 1,140 women under strict observations for the medical study.
The research on the 1,140 pregnant women selected under the Mother, Infant and Child (MICH) programme with 20 each from the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) was expected to commence on December 1, 2020.
This research phase, which would be commencing barely four months after the first phase of the programme, would include independent case studies with a follow up as well as monitoring of diverse medical and social indices that runs from next month to May 2021.
MICH, a programme designed by the state government through the Office of Civic Engagement, was to support development of socially responsible citizens from the womb through infancy, childhood, youth and into adulthood.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Aderemi Adebowale, at the second phase of MICH programme at Bariga Local Council Development Area, LCDA, yesterday, disclosed that 15,000 participants have been earmarked for the three-year programme when fully launch.
She noted that a formidable team has come up with a research proposal targeted at providing informed recommendations for the use of the State Government, the Federal Government and international development agencies including United Nations.
Adebowale said that the research programme was a follow up to the initial pilot with a view to assessing the impact of the MICH Food and supplements on the pregnant participants with full monitoring of their existing conditions, along with their unborn children throughout pregnancy till delivery and postpartum.
She said to ensure this research phase was impactful, government would ensure that the participating pregnant women receive qualitative health care and follow-up through home visits by a dedicated team of public and State-approved private community health workers and medical consultants.
In addition, the special adviser explained that each of the beneficiaries would have access to a toll-free line with membership on a social media chat group that would be created in each local government area for direct feedback as part of the monitoring and evaluation process of the Office of Civic Engagement.
“Also, I strongly appeal to all husbands, partners, families and support systems of the pregnant participants to ensure that the MICH Plus Food packs meant for sole consumption of our target participants are not abused or misused. Additionally, I encourage our participants’ spouses and families to continue to be responsible support systems to our pregnant women so that our dream of building the society through the unborn child and his family is realized maximally.
“We have thought ahead of the need to support struggling spouses of our indigent pregnant participants, hence we have included indicators relating to the family engagement component of the MICH programme as part of our research studies.
“I unequivocally assure everyone on this programme that the MICH research experience, over the next few months, will not only birth new healthy, virile babies and economically stable and civically responsible families but re-write the social inclusion narrative in our local governance and global sustainable development,” she added.
Adebowale emphasised the need for total cooperation of all LGA/LCDA Chairmen for the successful implementation of the research exercise since it would be domiciled at the Local Government Level.
She urged the chairmen, and other political leaders in each councils to work hands in glove with the medical officers of Health in their domains, especially in ensuring objective selection of participants according to the criteria.
The special adviser said the criteria for selection of the participants included: pregnant and underprivileged, EGA must be between 21-24 weeks, must be registered for ANC at the Primary Health Care (PHC) within the councils, must possess a Lagos State Residence Registration Agency (LASRRA card), must be resident in the LGA/LCDA, must be from a low-income household and 75% of selection must be indigenous.