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‘Why we introduced MICH programme for pregnant women’

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The need to support the development of socially responsible citizens from the womb to adulthood is the reason behind the introduction of the Mother Infant and Child (MICH) programme, the Lagos State government said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the sensitisation on MICH Research Pilot phase at the Christ Cathedral Church Primary School, Marina, Lagos, Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said the programme was put in place by Sanwo-Olu for pregnant women so that they could eat well during pregnancy for the overall development of the child from the womb.

She said under the MICH programme, the government distributed food packs containing the right nutrients to pregnant women so that they could eat the right kind of food to help the baby’s development.

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“We are keen in making sure we have children with the right brain. We have in the food pack wheat pack, garri, beans, rice seasoning for their food, oil, and others, including Vitamin A, E and so on,” she said.

She, however, said the state government had kicked off a research project with 1,140 indigent pregnant women under the MICH programme to see the impact of the distribution of the right food packs on them.

According to her, the research programme was a follow up to the initial pilot scheme with a view to assessing the impact of the MICH food and supplements on the pregnant participants with full monitoring of their existing conditions, along with their unborn children throughout pregnancy till delivery and post-partum.

Adebowale said the MICH programme, at full launch, is targeted at 15,000 participants over the course of the next three years, but said the government kicked off with this second pilot phase with 1,140 participants comprising a research study with 20 pregnant women in each of our 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs.

She added: “This phase, tagged the Research Phase, included independent case studies and research involving 1,140 pregnant women with follow up and monitoring of diverse medical and social indices which started on December 1, 2020 till the next six months.

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“Our formidable team of medical and technical experts have come up with a research proposal which aims to provide informed recommendations for the use of the state government, the Federal Government and international development agencies like the United Nations.”

The special adviser said the criteria for selection of the participants included pregnant and underprivileged, EGA must be between 21-24 weeks, must be registered for ANC at the PHC within the LGA/LCDA, must possess a LASRRA card, must be resident in the LGA/LCDA, must be from low-income household and 75 per cent of selection must be indigenous.

Adebowale emphasised the need for total cooperation of all LGA/LCDA chairmen for the successful implementation of the research exercise since it would be domiciled at the local government level.

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