President Goodluck Jonathan has disclosed that as at yesterday morning his personal house in Otuoke has been submerged by flood, up to the window level.
The President said this while speaking at the inauguration of the Nigerians saving one million lives initiative at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Bayelsa State is one of the several states across the country where homes have been destroyed and thousands rendered homeless.
The President thanked all global funding partners who are helped in alleviating the Suffering of the victims of the flood ravaged states adding that more humanitarian involvement will go far ensure the country gets over this phase.
"Nigerians are so devastated by the flood and sometimes when you watch on television you do not appreciate what we are going through. I travelled from North to South, on Sunday I was in my village after touring my state I left my village on Sunday morning and as at that time water was about entering my compound. As at this morning the information I got is that all my windows are under water. So you can see what people are passing through within his period. With the assistance the development partners will give us and people who are in the humanitarian sector we will soon get over it".
Meanwhile, the President yesterday launched the Nigeria Saving One Million lives initiative reiterating the commitment of his administration to fighting the rate of mother and child mortality.
The President said the saving one million lives programme was initiated with the with the objective of saving one million lives by 2015, through equitable and concrete utilization of quality cost effective basic health services.
He added that the programme clearly identified the needs for concrete access and the appropriate use of medical devices and commodities that can save lives.
"Increased domestic funding for commodities is a key area of commitment we are pursuing in this administration" he said in his speech.
"Today is a special day as we mark a mile stone in the global efforts to protect the rights of women and children while we try to improve access to the life saving facilities. This auspicious occasion provides me the opportunities to formally launch the Nigeria save a million life programme, in line with the United Nation’s global strategy for women and children health agenda which aims at saving 16million lives by 2015. Fortunately, 2015 is the year when my tenure of four years will end, so we have to work very hard.
"Last month in New York, Prime Minister Yang of Norway and myself Coordinated the final report of the UN’s commission on life saving commodities for Women and Children, Secretary General of the United Nations as co-chairs. The reports highlights the recommended actions and next steps in increasing access to life saving commodities and their appropriate use which can save the lives of Million of women and children around the world by 2015.
"We are committed to a total of 33.44Million U.S.Dollars in the next four years for the procurement of additional reproductive health commodities representing a 300% domestic funding increase.
"We have also set aside half a Billion Dollars over the next four years for maternal, new born and child health intervention under the subsidy re-investment and empowerment programme.
"This is in addition to the 68 Million U S. Dollars for polio and routine immunization programme.
"In our efforts to improve financial access to life saving commodities from women and children, the federal government of Nigeria in April, 2011, removed fees from contraceptives in public health facilities.
This has led to a dramatic increase in the demands for contraceptives in public sector by more than 150%. With support from our partners, we have developed essential medicine scale up plans addressing diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia, three diseases which account for 55% of our nation’s under five deaths. Achieving 80% will translate to saving more half a million lives".
Appreciating the traditional and religious leaders and all other humanitarian bodies that are also committed to the issue of women, the President also appreciated the Clinton family for what they have been doing for Nigeria
The Co-Chairman of the Commission and Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, represented by Secretary-General, Angel Hanson, announced a pledge of $25million over the next five years to the initiative subject to the approval of the Norwegian Parliament.
Commending the effort of the Nigerian government in co-chairing the Commission with Norway, he said Norway was fully committed to the initiative of saving a million lives, noting that working in partnership with other stakeholders they would ensure that the objectives of the initiative were realized.
Greeta Gupta, who represented the United Nations Children's and Education Fund (FUND), promised that UNICEF would work with Nigeria to overcome the challenges facing maternal and child health issues in the country.
In his welcome remark, the Minister of Health, Dr. Onyeabuchi Chukwu, regretted that inadequate access to life saving commodities has posed as a continued challenge to child and maternal health in the country, while the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Ali Pate, stressed the critical nature of the initiative to state governors.
Noting that the bulk of the work was at ward, local government and state levels, Pate also frowned at the continued paralysis of children by polio in parts of the country but was confident that one million lives would be saved by 2015 in line with the target of the initiative.
In her remarks, daughter of former US President and a director of Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) which is a partner in the programme, Miss Chelsea Clinton, expressed strong belief in its ability to save a million lives, saying that CHAI was proud to be associated with the initiative and would continue to support it.
Expressing delight that over 157, 000 lives have already been saved in the country this year alone, she stated that "no child should die of diarrhoea," noting that she was encouraged by the work that has already been done to save children in the country.