Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has said the state gives N500 to pregnant women who deliver at primary health care facilities in the state. The governor spoke during Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday. “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. “Delivery is free, they give you a delivery pack and N500, which is running for the vulnerable members of the society.” Asked what the N500 could do for the women, the governor said “free delivery, are you asking a poor woman, what will she do with N500? Some people don’t have it.” “At least it will pay their way back home.” According to the Abia State Strategy Health Development Plan, there are 687 primary health care centres across the 17 Local Government Areas in the state. The governor said the state operates a free delivery policy and a N500 take-home package as an initiative of the basic health insurance for pregnant women. Doctors’ strike Resident doctors in Abia State have been on strike following the non-payment of their salaries for 22 months. Last month, the Joint Action Committee of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH) shut down operations at the hospital. The state-owned polytechnic is also on strike. According to the governor, the Abia State polytechnic and Abia State University Teaching Hospital are “revenue yielding entities,” which are suffering managerial shortfalls. He said the polytechnic had a capacity of 15,000 students, which should provide the institution with N3bn annually, a fund enough for the institution to manage itself. Mr Ikpeazu said that he would only pay subvention, which is only for research and infrastructure.