After months of praying for assistance, the family of a Lagos-based Ekiti indigenes, Mr. and Mrs. Yemi Adeyemi, heaved a sigh of relief on July 9 when Erelu Bisi Fayemi donated cash and gift items to the couple to cater for their new set of triplets under the auspices of the Multiple Birth Trust Fund.
The couple had joined the growing list of more than 100 families of multiple births who had benefitted from the MBTF initiative, which was aimed at mitigating the burden of low income families caring for multiple births.
The Adeyemi family came to the attention of the First Lady through a programme, Life, anchored by Chioma Okpara on the Nigerian Television Authority. The couple had gone to the station to solicit assistance from the general public.
At the brief ceremony; Erelu Fayemi noted that the arrival of newborns should be a cause for celebration by the affected families as against a source of lamentation.
“There are many families in our country who struggle to survive. If they already have two or three children and are blessed with additional two or three, they might have cause to wonder if the new arrivals are a source of celebration or lamentation. In Ekiti State, like several parts of the South-West, we have a very high rate of multiple births. In many cases, these multiple births arrive in addition to existing children in the family, thereby causing hardships on couples who are supposed to be celebrating.
The MBTF was formally launched on June 9, 2011, in Ado-Ekiti. At the first presentation of the Fund, we were able to provide financial support for up to 100 families of twins and triplets. “The MBTF supports families, such as the Adeyemis, on an ongoing basis by providing financial support and products to assist them with the children’s upkeep, as well as investments on behalf of the children.”
Blaming the death of a set of quadruplets, whose mother she visited in October, last year, shortly after their birth, on lack of timely care and assistance, she vowed to intensify her efforts aimed at giving a new lease of life to such families. In this regard, she said there would be enlightenment programmes for expectant mothers of multiple births, as well as their caregivers; with particular reference to those based in local communities.
If the country was to achieve its goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality rates, she said the need of all expectant mothers, including those expecting more than one baby and who were at high risk, should be met.
Describing the governor’s wife gesture in the superlatives, the head of the Adeyemi family said it was like a dream to him, following what he called his elusive and frustrating search for assistance before her intervention.
As a hotel attendant and coupled with the fact that the mother of the triplets was a full housewife, he said they could not shoulder the responsibility of bringing the children up without assistance from public-spirited individuals.
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Last modified: July 9, 2011