Dr. (Mrs.) Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the First Lady of Lagos State, has unveiled a new initiative, the Jumejilo Multi-Birth Assistance Programme (JMAP), aimed at providing vital support to families with multiple births. The program, operated through an NGO, will facilitate successful deliveries, offer aid to multi-birth families, and improve access to quality healthcare for low-income households.
During a heartfelt event at Lagos House Ikeja on Tuesday, the Governor’s wife presented cheques and gifts to the first group of beneficiaries under the JMAP Programme. She expressed her delight, calling the initiative a long-held dream that originated in 2021.
JMAP, a brainchild of the First Lady, is designed to complement existing initiatives and support systems in the Lagos State health sector for parents facing High Order Multiple (HOM) pregnancies. It aims to address medical complications, mortalities, and disorders associated with multiple births, including premature delivery, preeclampsia, and irregular fetal growth, among other challenges. The program seeks to ease the burden on families and enhance maternal and child health outcomes in the region.
She said: “The JMAP intervention was initiated in 2021 by my Office against the background of the rising rate of multiple births in the State and the neonatal mortality associated with High Order Multiple (HOM) pregnancies among low-income families.
“Available data indicates that Lagos has an infant mortality rate of 39 per cent per 1,000 live births monthly, with preterm complications significantly accounting for the high mortality.”
While referencing a quote by Owen Arthur, a former Prime Minister of Barbadian “For he who has health has hope; and he who has hope, has everything”, the First Lady noted that the quote vividly captures the essence of her intervention through the NGO which seeks to extend hope to families that truly need help.
The First Lady revealed that the support for multiple-birth parents and infants will come in the form of socio-economic support, constant enlightenment, empowerment, social inclusion and a welfare support system.
Speaking on the modalities for the Jumejilo Multi-Birth Assistance Programme, the wife of the Governor stated that the beneficiaries will also enjoy postnatal care that will run for a 12-month cycle during which the multi-birth households will undergo social empowerment, health education and economic sustainability programmes, in addition to follow-up social and welfare engagements as the babies develop.
In her words: “Potential JMAP beneficiaries must be below 60 years, while their socio-economic status (in respect of annual income) must not be more than N250,000 per household. Prospective beneficiaries must also have Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) Cards as proof of residential status with utility bills of at least 12 months; they must be an expectant or current multiple-birth mother with triplets or more that are between ages 0 and 5 years.”
She clarified that the JMAP Programme has not been set up as a conventional NGO giving monetary assistance to the public, explaining that the financial support to be made available to the beneficiaries will only be provided specifically as sustenance for multi-birth parents in line with the objective of the Programme.
The Governor’s wife also used the event to invite like-minded, public-spirited individuals and corporate organizations to support her vision of giving hope to families that need help, assuring that initiative will be sustained as a platform to make a positive difference in our society.
In her remark, the Wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat revealed that the life impacting initiative has brought to light the motherly instinct of the First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu in ensuring that numerous challenges associated with multiple births are mitigated through this applauding Jumejilo initiative.
“Given the extensive evidence that twins and other multiple births worldwide are associated with a substantial higher risk of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity, this initiative will further strengthen the window of opportunities and would be of immense assistance to multiple birth parents”, she emphasized.
While congratulating all awardees, beneficiaries and stakeholders of the noble programme, the Deputy Governor’s wife, Mrs.Oluremi Hamzat enjoined members of the press to give this launch the widest publicity expected.
One of the excited recipients, Mr. Tunde Ilufoye, a father of triplets said he was overwhelmed with the huge support received from the NGO powered by the First Lady and promised to spread the good news and the government’s intervention in supporting parents with multiple births.
As part of the launch and award presentation segment of the programme, two multiple birth mothers – one with quadruplets and another with triplets – went home with JMAP Babies Awards which among other gift items, including cash and assorted baby items.
The event had in attendance the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Abimbola Salu-Hudeyin, Body of Permanent Secretaries, Top Government Functionaries, Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Service Organisations, Corporate Bodies, beneficiaries of the initiative among others.