Nnamani tasks medical professionals on public enlightenment
March 10, 2006

Governor Chimaroke Nnamani has enjoined professional medical organizations in the country to act as advocates and educators to shield the people from the activities of quacks.

Dr Nnamani made the plea in Enugu when he received in audience a delegation of the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Enugu.

The Governor noted with dismay the numerous but dubious claims for cures of all manner of ailments ranging from infertility to child-sex selection that can be found in national newspapers, adding that the average citizen is left at the mercy of quacks.

He however commended the "immense sacrifice," which he said his professional colleagues were making in deciding to give up the lucrative practice abroad to settle at home.

Dr. Nnamani also lauded SOGON for its contribution to the improvement of reproduction and child health, adding that the state government was totally committed to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in maternal and infant mortality.

The Governor reminded them that the public needed to be fully informed and educated on the issues involved in the proposed bill for the National Institute of Reproductive Health.

Earlier in his speech, the President of SOGON, Dr. John Okaro, had stated that his organization had set in motion a national plan for practical and sustainable reduction in maternal deaths in Nigeria.

As part of this plan of fighting of maternal deaths and promoting women's health, Dr. Okaro, disclosed that SOGON had proposed a National Institute of Reproductive Health to be based in Abuja.

The institute, he added, would facilitate the coordination of government activities towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), establish a permanent and credible database for maternal mortality and morbidity, and offer specialized training to reproductive healthcare administrators in affiliation with Nigerian universities.

He noted with regret that this well-meaning proposal by SOGON has been unfairly criticized by some individuals as a ploy to introduce an abortion bill to the National Assembly.

Dr. Okaro categorically stated that the bill does not seek to legalize abortion, rather the institute would serve as an intellectual nerve-centre responsible for coordinating, harnessing and promoting government's efforts towards the reduction of maternal death in Nigeria.

He commended Governor Nnamani for his tireless efforts to deliver democracy dividends in Enugu State and for his overall fight to reduce maternal mortality in the State.


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