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‘Ignorance, Cause Of Maternal Mortality’

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Ignorance by pregnant women on their health status and tradition, has been identified as major contributors to maternal deaths.

The consultant and Head of Department, Obstetrics/ Gynaecology at the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital (BMSH), Port Harcourt, Dr. Douglas K. O. Pepple stated this during a policy discussion workshop on the “Reproductive Health Law of Rivers State” at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Law Centre in Port Harcourt.

According to Dr. Pepple, most women who die during child birth were either influenced by their traditional beliefs or their ignorance on the need for them to register their pregnancies in a competent health centre such as the one provided by the Rivers State Government across the state.

Pepple, who was the guest speaker at the discussion, noted that while the State Government has done so much by taking health centers closer to women in the State, in order to check maternal mortality, the stand of some traditions and culture, particularly in the rural areas, had not made it easy for pregnant women to access such services.

Various contributors in the meeting, which had in attendance; lawyers, health workers and journalists, noted the extent to which ignorance had enhanced maternal deaths.

According to some of them, some traditions still view a pregnant woman attending antenatal as a taboo. Consequently, they prefer to go to Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) for both antenatal and post-natal services.

Some other pregnant women, prefer to access medical services from quacks such as local patent medicine dealers and members of churches believed to be guided by spiritual powers to take care of pregnant women before and after delivery.

Dr. Pepple, revealed that Rivers State recorded a low maternal mortality in 2011, with only 20 deaths out of over 2000 women who delivered in BMSH.

According to him, “this is very low considering that some states record as much as 400 deaths in the same period.”

The discussion was organised by the Network of the Bar, Bench and Police (NBB&P) in collaboration with ipas, Nigeria.

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RSG Moves To ImproveYouths’ Living Standards

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The Rivers State Government has reiterated its commitment to collaborate with development partners to ameliorate the living standards of the youths in line with the new Rivers vision of the State Government, led by Chief Nyesom Wike.
The Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. Prince Obi Ohia, who stated this at a Town Hall meeting in Ahoada East Local Government Area urged the youths to develop a mindset for positive growth and enhancement.
Hon. Ohia  assured the youths that the new vision policy of the Rivers State Government was aimed at securing a better future for youths in the state and urged them to work towards self-sustainability for a more secure future rather than solely relying on government or multinational organisations for assistance.
The commissioner, tasked  Ekpeye youths to take their destiny in their own hands by creating a clear and well articulated roadmap  for success in various fields of endeavour.
According to Ohia, if the youths must grow, they should believe in themselves and set achievable goals/targets and work assiduously towards becoming successful business owners and entrepreneurs, thereby improving not only themselves but also, the economy of the larger society .
“The Rivers State Government is willing and ready to partner with the youths in the State to change the narrative. This is why we are here on the advocacy visit cum interactive session with you, to see how to provide a platform for Youth to spring on”, he said.
Ohia urged the leadership of the local government council to do everything possible to improve the living standards of youths in the area, adding that they can do this, by providing education and vocational trainings for them.
He appealed to the local government boss to nip in the bud the rising trend of  undue interference of traditional rulers  and community leaders in the election of youth bodies, stressing that the Youths should have the liberty to choose their own leaders.
According to him,” that does not mean that the supervisory roles of the traditional rulers and community heads should not be established”.
He however, tasked the Youths of the Local Government Area to protect and own all State Government projects sited in the the Local Government Area describing them as legacies that must be bequeathed to  generations after them.
Chairman of the Local Government council, Hon. Ben Eke, disclosed that the council has been able to build a Mechanic workshop for Youths in the area to be trained in automobile maintenance.
Eke also explained that the council has renovated an atelier to train young girls from the area in tailoring and fashion designing and that the council is building a Home Economics Laboratory to train women in soap making, hair dressing and general beauty care, adding that the project would be completed in the next few months.

By: Ike Wigodo

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Ogba Monarch Tasks Journalists On Core Values

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His Eminence, the Oba of Ogbaland, Barr Nwachukwu Nnam Obi III, has cautioned the leadership of the Rivers State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) not to commonise the body but should rather hold in high esteem the core values, objectives, missions and visions that the union represents. 
Nnam Obi stated this on Saturday, when members of the union led by the chairman, Stanley Job, paid the family of the late Oba, Chukumela, Nnam Obi II, a condolence visit in his palace at Omoku, headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers State.
The monarch added that when integrity is in place, there is no limit to how far one can go in life, while prophesying that the NUJ Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley will, not only grow from being a member, Secretary and Chairman of the union, but would become the National President, if he upholds the tenets of the profession.
The first class traditional ruler disclosed that funeral activities for the late monarch included a valedictory speech on August 11th, with service of songs scheduled for 12th, while the burial holds on the 13th, just as August 14-20 will feature traditional rites. He said that he expected the full participation of the union to witness in their lives what it took to give an Oba a befitting burial.
He remarked that he was sure that many members of the union on the entourage were not born 50 years ago when the last Oba Obi died after which his late father, took over the throne at a tender age.
Earlier, the Chairman of NUJ, Rivers State Council, Stanley Job Stanley stated that the late Oba was the grand patron of the union in Rivers State and the country at large, regretting that he died when younger members of the union needed him most to tap from his wealth of experience and knowledge.

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Nigerians Subjected To Extreme Poverty, Group Alleges

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A youth group in Niger Delta region, the United Brothers’ of Opobo Kingdom (UBOK) has stated that Nigerians have been subjected to extreme poverty and avoidable divisions under the administration of President Muha-mmadu Buhari, stressing that the only way to extricate the masses is to mobilize all legitimate forces towards ensuring that the bad government is nailed to the cross.
Speaking withThe Tide recently in Opobo Town, President of the group, Comrade Alafuro Mac-Pepple noted that the youths of the country suffer more from incidences of visionless leadership in Nigeria, as government, instead of building bridges of development, has shut the people out from employment opportunities and dearth of infrastructure.
Mac-Pepple maintained that for the past years of this dispensation, the country has continued to degenerate as there is no plan to create employment for Nigerians, regretting that there is no infrastructure in the six geo-political zones, as well as, the menace of Boko Haram terrorist war which could not be curtailed by the president and has gulped billions of dollars.
“We shall no longer watch this unfruitful leadership while continues to suffer the masses of this country they are full of empty and unrealisable pledges, as well as high-handedness while we, wallow in abject poverty in the midst of abundant resources.
The group leader also accused Buhari’s government of being incapable of accounting for the so much money recovered from dubious Nigerians in his anti-corruption fight and challenged Mr. President to tell Nigerians what he has been doing with all the recovered loots within the life span of this administration, for posterity, save and should stop subjecting Nigerians to untold hardship and penury.

By: Bethel Toby

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