By George Odok
Odukpani – Dr Linda Ayade, wife of the Governor of Cross River, has urged pregnant women to stop patronising churches for medical advice and delivery.
Ayade gave the advice on Sunday while flagging off the first round of the Maternal New-born and Child Health (MNCH) week in Odukpani Local Government Area of the state.
She lamented that the increasing mortality rate of pregnant women was due to the rising patronage of faith-based organizations instead of medical facilities.
The governor’s wife appealed to pregnant women to take advantage of the health facilities in their localities as the state intensifies efforts to end maternal and infant mortality.
“As we flag off the first round of MNCH today, I wish to appeal to pregnant women not to be too busy when it comes to regular attendance at antenatal clinics.
“Secondly, I am appealing to them to always seek medical attention in our various health facilities across the state rather than in churches and prayer houses’’, she said.
She called for more support for the State Health Insurance Scheme tagged `Ayadecare’, which she said was aimed at delivering affordable healthcare service to the people.
Speaking, Dr Betta Edu, Director-General of the state Primary Health Care Development Agency, said that the objective of the week was to improve healthcare delivery for pregnant women and children in the state.
“We are grateful to Gov. Ben Ayade for making available free commodities for pregnant women and children as they will be receiving free immunization, malaria test and drugs, free vitamin A supplement, de-worming tablets and others.
“We have resolved to reduce cases of maternal and new-born mortality in the state.
“That is why we are flagging off this health week with a view to rendering free medical service to pregnant women and children’’, she said.
Dr Edu commended the support of the United Nations Population Fund(UNFP) and other development partners for joining hands with the state health sector in rendering healthcare services to residents of the state.