At the opening of a three day retreat tagged “The role of women in driving the new direction agenda of Kogi state Government,” organized for wives of local government administrators in the state, the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, who was represented by the former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen, has said that the 576 deaths per 1000 births for pregnant women and 201 per cent per 1000 live births for infant was unacceptable, saying that the figure of infant and maternal mortality released by the global health agencies was alarming and should be addressed.
According to her, women should be at hand to assist in formulating good policies and implementing programmes that would make life more meaningful to the electorate, adding that since it had been established that majority of the people live in the rural areas, there was the need to empower the traditional birth attendants in those rural communities to further reduce the mortality rate.
She has noted that the traditional birth attendants should be equipped and monitored to ensure that they adhere to standard best practices and contribute to the reduction in infant and maternal mortality rate.
She has also advised the wives of the local government chairmen to key into the humanitarian programmes of the federal and states governments to enable them reach out to the vulnerable in the society.
She has called on wives of local governments and women at the grassroots level to complement the efforts at extending qualitative healthcare delivery to the various communities in the country.
The wife of the Kogi State governor, Mrs. Rashida Bello, in her speech has said that she was committed to the effective and positive change in the standard of living of the women and children.
She has said that her pet project, the Kogi Women and Youth Advancement Foundation (KOWYAF), had been collaborating with the relevant ministries and agencies to make to actualise the new direction programmes of government.
She has said that the zeal in her husband for the development of the state encouraged her to develop programmes and projects that had direct bearing on the lives of the people, adding that such programmes had brought succour and transformation to the people at the grassroots.
Bello has however appealed to the local government administrators to emulate the governor by providing adequate support for their wives to enable them achieve lofty programmes and projects.

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