Mrs. Ambode Canvasses Exclusive Breast-Feeding of Babies

Mrs. Ambode Canvasses Exclusive Breast-Feeding of Babies

Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Bolanle Ambode, has again reminded nursing mothers and pregnant women the importance of exclusive breast-feeding of newborn babies.

She disclosed this during a telephone interview on the occasion of this year’s World Breast-feeding Week, held in the first week of August every year.

Bolanle noted that the benefits of breast milk to the infant were too profound to be ignored, as it was an important foundation for a baby’s life, capable of determing whether the baby would live or otherwise.

She said putting a baby to the breast in the first hour of life was a major safeguard against infant’s death, adding that exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months, help them to grow, prevents under nutrition, promotes brain development while reducing the risk of overweight.

She said further that breast milk was vital because it acts as the baby’s first vaccine, boosting its immunity.

According to her, “Nothing can compare to the breast milk, no matter the nutritional value of the baby formula, it cannot adequately take the place of breast milk in the life of the new born”.

“God who created it in His own special way to be baby-friendly, has made it the most important and most beneficial type of food a baby gets to know. Nursing mothers should not make excuses of their jobs or career for not doing exclusive breastfeeding because the advantages to the baby are too many”, she submitted.

The governor’s wife commended the theme for this year: “Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life”, describing it as the basic truth about the practice.

She explained further that breastfeeding was good bonding between mother and infant, adding that improved breastfeeding practices around the world, could save the lives of nearly one million children under five years, according to international health bodies.

Lagos Goes Tough On Drug Abuse, Plans 1000-Man Walk Against Scourge

Lagos Goes Tough On Drug Abuse, Plans 1000-Man Walk Against Scourge

…Women Strategically Positioned To Stop Teenage Rape, Pregnancy

In a bid to step up its campaign against all forms of drug abuse, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it has concluded plans to stage a 1000-man walk against the scourge and raise awareness on its inherent danger especially among youths.

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri who disclosed this while addressing journalists at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Ikeja, ahead of the launch of a rigorous and renewed campaign under the acronym, Lagos State Kicks against Drug Abuse (LASKADA), said the Government was leaving no stone unturned in its effort to dissuade youths who are prime victims of the practice.

According to the Commissioner, the campaign will adopt a tripod approach including events, engagements with stakeholders and awareness campaign, adding that it would be flagged off by a 1000 man symbolic walk against drug abuse in the State.

He said the walk, which will hold on Thursday, June 21, would commence from Ikeja Bus Stop- under the bridge and would terminate at the Blue Roof, LTV, Agidingbi, where the official launch of LASKADA would take place.

He said participants at the walk will include students, members of voluntary organizations, sports men and women, members of Nongovernmental organisations, local government and youth representatives, local youth council representatives, faith based organisations, government functionaries, among others.

“What we want to do on Thursday is to launch this campaign and show that we are ready for war against all forms of drug abuse. Once we launch out, we are going to have series of activities on various platforms and we will employ every avenue to ensure that the campaign gets to the nook and cranny in the State,” he said.

Dabiri added that the campaign will also involve a stakeholders’ sensitization session to deliberate on the menace and proffer likely intervention to tackle the issue holistically.

“The stakeholders will include parents, youths, professional bodies include Pharmacists, NDLEA, psychiatrists, traditional medicine board, patent medicine sellers, NURTW, Tricycle and okada riders unions and a communiqué will be issued at the end of the session.

He said the campaign train will also move to primary, secondary and higher institutions as well as to the communities adding that it would be implemented in collaboration with the Lagos State Youth Ambassadors, Lagos State Youth Parliament and NGOs in their immediate community.

Besides, the Commissioner said that mosque, churches and faith based organization will be implored to dedicate a day to enlighten worshippers on drug abuse and canvass support for the fight against the menace.

“The youth group is the largest population in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State and this segment is considered the most vulnerable group as far as drug and alcohol issues are concerned. Thus, their health and optimal development is critical to national development agenda and deserves significant attention. Drug abuse is real and we should not fold our arms and watch the scourge continue, partner with us and lets all say “No to Drug Abuse”, Dabiri said.

In a related development, Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode said women must use their strategic position as builders of the home-front to adequately fortify their children and wards with right virtuous to stem the tide of rape and teenage pregnancy in the society.

Speaking at a special Lagos Women Forum put together by her office held at Police College in Ikeja, the wife of the Governor said as coordinators of the family unit, women have the responsibility to bring up their children in most decent ways and be good examples to them.

According to her, “We as women have a great role to play in combating the social evils of rape and teenage pregnancy. Our natural role as mothers and coordinators of the family unit, imposes responsibilities on us, to bring up the boy and the girl child in the most decent way, to stem the tide of rape and teenage pregnancy in our society.”

She said young girls who suffer abuse and become pregnant stand the risk of medical complications, stressing however that conscious effort must be made in their upbringing to achieve the desired results including early enrolment in school, sound moral lessons and exposure to the ways and things of God.

Besides, Mrs Ambode expressed concern over the disturbing trend of domestic violence against women which sometimes result in deaths, saying it was time for women to come together and jointly speak out against the menace.

“By publicly speaking out against domestic violence, together we can challenge attitudes that breed violence in the homes and everywhere. We must insist that domestic violence is a social crimes and not acceptable in our society. That is why we have brought seasoned speakers, to talk to us on issues of social menace, and our expected roles as mothers and home builders.

In her keynote address, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Idiat Adebule commended the wife of the Governor for the initiative to gather women together for the purpose of enhancing their welfare and health, saying the strategic importance of women in the society could not be overemphasized.

She said women should no longer be stereotyped into silence but rather become vocal advocates for improved health delivery system and social justice, adding that the womenfolk also have the responsibility of investing and increasing access of more girls and women to good health, quality education, and as well ensuring that laws respect and ensure the rights of women are enforced.

The Deputy Governor, who is also overseeing the Ministry of Education, said as part of efforts to protect the future of girls who are abused, the State Government recently established a special school for people in such category to have another opportunity to be educated.

“We have equally established the alternative school for the girls who, in the course of their lifetime, get pregnant and could not continue their education. Our government has provided that particular school for them to have a second chance in life,” Adebule said.

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Distributes 50,000 Shoes, Socks To Lagos Pupils

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Distributes 50,000 Shoes, Socks To Lagos Pupils

…All The State’s 1,016 Public Primary Schools To Benefit

Wife of the Lagos State Governor and founder, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative, (HOFOWEM), Mrs. Bolanle Ambode on Tuesday flagged off the distribution of 50,000 shoes and branded socks to primary one pupils of public schools across the State.

Mrs Ambode flagged off the distribution at the Cherubim and Seraphim Primary School, Lagos Road, Majidun in Ikorodu.

The distribution is the 2018 edition of the “Project Bright Steps,” a pet project of HOFOWEM, to boost the morale of the children and sensitize the society that the welfare of pupils is important, in getting the best of them in their academic pursuits.

In the first edition of Project Bright Steps in February last year, 175,000 shoes and HOFOWEM-branded socks, were distributed to all Primary 1-3 pupils of public primary schools across Lagos State.

Flagging off the distribution, Mrs Ambode said getting the best from education began with proper dressing to school, saying that the foundation had observed with some pain, that many pupils were less than properly dressed to school, as some turned up in bathroom slippers while many others went barefooted.

The First Lady stated that this sort of daily appearance for school activities certainly could not guarantee them the desired self-esteem, for confidence to excel in their academic work.

“Our Foundation had pondered this and settled on the mass procurement and distribution of shoes and socks to the pupils, at least to prepare them for school. By the grace of God, upon the huge success recorded in the first edition, we are flagging-off the second edition of the project today, with a plan to distribute no less than 50,000 shoes and branded socks, to the primary one pupils of public schools across the State.

“The distribution centres are: Agege, Maryland, Yaba, Ojo, Amuwo Odofin, Epe, Lagos Island and Ikorodu which doubles as the flag-off venue. This arrangement is for easier accessibility to the various schools and the benefitting pupils,” she disclosed.

Mrs Ambode noted that Project Bright Steps was planned as an annual event, and would continue as such, by God’s grace, to touch as many pupils as possible in the state’s public primary schools.

Thanking all public-spirited individuals and corporate bodies, who had assisted HOFOWEM in its humanitarian endeavours, she urged the pupils to be serious with their academic work and that they should not make excuses of challenges and limitations.

“You can learn something new every day, if you listen attentively in class. And with strong determination, you can overcome all barriers to achieve your desired dream. Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet to the ground, do small things, in great ways. It is about your attitude of mind,” she counselled the pupils.

Chief Executive Officer, CEO, HOFOWEM, Mrs. Oyefunke Olayinka said since the commencement of operations, the foundation had touched the lives of many and is still putting smiles on the faces of the less-privileged without wavering, adding that through the foundation’s various humanitarian programmes, hundreds of women, children and youths had been reached.

She said the Project Bright Steps was a programme aimed at increasing school attendance by equipping pupils for school, thereby serving as a means of support for indigent parents, who might find it difficult to provide the basic school needs, required by their children and wards for enjoyable schooling.

“Parents and guardians should know that anything worth having does not come easy. All hands must be on deck, backed by prayers to achieve our most ambitious goals for our children,” she said, while charging the pupils to put in their best in everything they set out to do.

Speaking at the event, Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Dr. Ganiyu Sopeyin said the distribution of the shoes and socks would take place in all 1,016 public primary schools across the State.

He said last year, pupils in primary one to three benefitted from the distribution in 1,010 primary schools.

Commending the Governor’s wife for the gesture, Sopeyin added that the exercise was a testimony that the present administration’s clarion call to Non-Governmental Organisations, NGO, was yielding the needed synergy between government and well-meaning Nigerians to raise the standard of basic education in the State.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Elizabeth Adekanye described the project as laudable and a step in the right direction to provide quality and accessible education to pupils in Lagos State Primary Schools.

“The First Lady has a burning desire to touch the lives of the less privileged in the society. She is everywhere assisting the indigents. This initiative is continuous all through the year,” she said.

A representative of the parents, Mr. Ajayi Ajibola commended Mrs. Ambode for the gesture, as it would relieve parents the burden of providing shoes and socks for their wards

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Gives Couple With Quintuplets N500,000 Monthly Allowance For One Year

Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Gives Couple With Quintuplets N500,000 Monthly Allowance For One Year

…Visits Family, Presents Other Gift Items

Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has volunteered a monthly allowance of N500, 000 for the next twelve months, for the care of quintuplets born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Augustine Obiefuna of Orile Iganmu, a suburb of the State.

Quintuplets are five babies born from one pregnancy.

Other welfare arrangements by the Governor’s wife for the newborns include: supply of diapers for one year; supply of baby milk and other essentials for one year, all these in addition to two bus-loads of baby essentials like beds, mattresses, diapers, boxes of cloths, socks, pants, caps, etc, that accompanied her on a visit to the infants, at the Lagos Island Maternity.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode also gave an undisclosed sum of money, for the care of the babies; three boys and two girls, who weighed between 1.5kg and 2kg respectively.

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right), presenting gifts to Mr. Augustine and Jessica Obiefuna for their newborn quintuplets, at the Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos, on Wednesday, 16 May, 2018. With them are COWLSO members, Mrs. Ronke Solomon (right); Mrs. Oyindamola Ogunsanwo (2nd left) and Managing Director of the hospital, Dr. Ademuyiwa Eniayewun.
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (2nd right), presenting gifts to Mr. Augustine and Jessica Obiefuna for their newborn quintuplets, at the Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos, on Wednesday, 16 May, 2018. With them are COWLSO members, Mrs. Ronke Solomon (right); Mrs. Oyindamola Ogunsanwo (2nd left) and Managing Director of the hospital, Dr. Ademuyiwa Eniayewun.

Speaking at the maternity ward, the Governor’s wife who was visibly elated and brimming with smiles, thanked God for the safe delivery of the infants and commended their mother, for regularly attending her ante-natal sessions in a government hospital.

She urged expectant mothers in the State to shun quacks and self medication, but to register early and diligently attend ante-natal clinics in government hospitals, for standard medical care.

According to her, “You can all see why it is good to register in a government hospital where standard medical care is guaranteed. This woman registered early and regularly attended her ante-natal clinics. The result is that all five babies were safely delivered to the glory of God”.

She commended the entire medical team, especially the Consultant, Dr. Ogungbemile Babalola, for their professional service, stressing that the government would always prioritize health care service for expectant mothers, to eradicate maternal and infant mortality in the State.

Mrs. Ambode, who later inspected the maternity ward, promised further donations to the hospital, to strengthen maternal and infant service delivery in the hospital.

Father of the babies, Mr. Augustine Obiefuna, copiously thanked the Governor and his wife, for their rare benevolence and generosity, which according to him transcended ethnic and tribal considerations.

He said, “We are surprised that despite being non indigenes of the State, the Governor and his wife could show us so much love and kindness. They are just wonderful. We never imagined that Her Excellency could personally come here to see our new babies. We cannot stop praying for them and their children, for God’s favour, protection and wisdom at all times.”

It the first set of quintuplets born in the State this year.

Say No To Female Genital Mutilation

Say No To Female Genital Mutilation

…We Can Stamp Out FGM By 2030

Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has expressed optimism that Female Genital Mutilation could be stamped out of Africa by 2030, if all individual and institutional stakeholders worked together towards achieving that purpose.

She said this at Alausa, Ikeja, in comments to reporters, on the occasion of this year’s International Day of zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, FGM.

Mrs. Ambode noted that, although the practice was well entrenched in the continent, with some countries recording up to ninety per cent prevalence among girls and women, the situation was not hopeless if the current advocacy was sustained or increased.

According to her, ‘The pace of penetration of awareness seems slow because the practice is an ancient one, deeply rooted in our various cultures but that does not make our efforts fruitless. Though progress may be slow, we are going somewhere as rural women, mothers and young girls, are becoming aware of the severe health implications of the barbaric practice’.

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‘Few years ago, many women, even some educated ones, saw it as a normal and socially acceptable practice but the story is fast changing, as awareness is getting mileage and rural women are now campaigning against it’, she declared.

The governor’s wife implored governments to fight the practice with direct legislations, in the manner they are doing with some wicked anti-female practices.

She reminded everyone that FGM constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls, directly violating their rights to health, security and physical integrity, wondering why women should be subjected to such life-threatening dehumanization.

She contended that mothers, fathers and NGOs, must continue to voice their concern and governments must put in place the right statutes, for total eradication of the practice in our country and the continent by 2030.

February 6 every year, was set aside by the United Nations, as the International Day of zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation across the world.