Friday, January 13, 2017 5:36 pm
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Friday directed health officers in the state to ensure comprehensive implementation of all stages of the Maternal, Newborn, Child Health Week (MNCHW).
The governor gave this directive on Friday in Lokoja at the official flag-off ceremony of the week-long free healthcare services for women and children to mark the 2017 MNCHW in the state.
Bello, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs Folashade Ayoade, also enjoined the health officials to pay close attention to the needs of women and children, particularly nursing mothers and their newborns to ensure improved healthcare delivery.
“It is important to reiterate that this administration is committed to the total eradication of maternal, neonatal and child mortality across the 21 local government areas of this state.
“This is a recurrent provision throughout the health thematic area of our administration’s new direction agenda and blueprints; which includes measures to strengthen healthcare delivery to all citizens.
“The importance of maternal newborn child health week cannot be over-emphasised; as it was put together to improve the health indices of women and children.
“Our target is to supplement children from six to 59 months with Vitamin A, conduct nutritional screening, HIV counselling and testing, immunise children from 0 to 12 months with pentavalent vaccine.
“Provision of long lasting insecticide nets, antenatal care, family planning services, birth registration and promotion of selected key household practices such as breastfeeding, complementary feeding and hygiene.
“I, therefore, urged all parents to ensure that their wards within the target age group access these health benefits as from Jan. 16 to 20.
“I will be a fulfilled man just knowing that for the next one week, we are providing this important group of people with enhanced access to target-specific healthcare services and opportunities,” Bello said.
The governor directed the Commissioner for Health and his Special Adviser on Health Matters, to ensure that every stage of the exercise was comprehensively covered.
Bello also ordered the Administrators of the 21 local government areas to ensure the success of the programme across the state.
He also called on all the traditional rulers, religious leaders, women groups and other community based organisations to partner with government in mobilising people for full participation.
The governor thanked the Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Magnus Ogaraku, for their cooperation in providing healthcare service for the people; uninterrupted by industrial action, proposed to kick-off on Jan. 13.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna, said the maternal newborn health week was introduced in March 2010, by the Federal Government following the decision made at the National Council of Health.
“Our ability to mark this event at this time shows the commitment of our health-friendly governor in bringing quality and affordable healthcare services to our teeming population in spite of the economic downturn,” Haruna said.
Other stakeholders present at the flag-off were WHO, UNICEF, Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Centre for Integrated Health programmes (CIHP), and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), among others.