Abia Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has revealed that pregnant women in the state get N500 for giving birth in government-owned primary health care facilities across the state.
“Abia State has keyed into the basic health insurance for pregnant women. If you give birth in any of our centres, you get N500,” Mr Ikpeazu said.
Making this disclosure while speaking during a Channels TV broadcast on Wednesday, Mr Ikpeazu said the N500 was given to the women alongside delivery packs.
He said the money was part of the state’s basic health care insurance program for pregnant women.
“Delivery is free, they give you a delivery pack and N500, which is running for the vulnerable members of the society,” the governor said.
Asked how the N500 would benefit the new mothers, Mr Ikpeazu justified his administration’s policy, stating that his government was already footing the women’s delivery bill.
He said, besides, the amount would be enough to pay their transport fare back home.
“Free delivery. Are you asking a poor woman what she will do with N500? Some people don’t have it. At least it will pay their way back home,” the governor said.
The governor’s comment comes as the cost of food and baby care items continues to rise as the country struggles to recover from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, the Joint Action Committee of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) shut down operations at the hospital over the non-payment of their salaries for 22 months.