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Lagos pledges to intensify efforts to implement maternal & child mortality reduction strategies

By Alex Chiejina
LAGOS (Sundiata Post) – The Lagos State Government has reiterated its resolve to continue with the implementation of activities and strategies geared towards the reduction of maternal and child deaths in the State through its Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Programme, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga has said.

Onanuga, who made this known to signal commencement of activities for the implementation of the first round of year 2016 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCH) celebration in Lagos, noted that the state government would not rest on its oars at ensuring that preventive measures against maternal and child deaths are embraced and adequate care for maternal and child health are available.

According to him, maternal, peri-natal and child (under-5 ) health indices have emerged as the most important health indices that determine global and national wellbeing adding that the 2013 National Demographic Survey, which is our national indices for neonatal, infant, under- 5 children and mothers are far from cheering.

The Special Adviser added that the 2013 national Maternal Mortality Rates of 576/100,000 live births compared with the 2010 data of 545/100,000 live births is an indication that everyone has to up our antic concerning maternal and child health interventions.

“It is for this reason that I fully lend my voice and support to the Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Strategy adopted in Nigeria as a panacea to frontally tackle the twin issue of maternal and child mortality”, Onanuga said.

Speaking on the state of preparedness of the State government to implement the first round of year 2016 MNCH Week slated to hold between Monday 13th and Friday 17th June, 2016, the Special Adviser explained that a wide range of high-impact and low-cost package of protective, preventive and promotive services will be provided to the whole family during the week in an integrated manner.

“These services will include routine immunization; Vitamin A supplementation; growth monitoring and promotion, screening for malnutrition and appropriate counseling and referral; administration of deworming medicine, and distribution of informative, educative and communicative materials”, he said.

The Special Adviser added that tetanus toxoid will be given to all women of child-bearing-age stressing also that medical counseling on key household practices such as exclusive breastfeeding, hand washing, oral rehydration therapy, as well as home management for fever and diarrhoea will also be provided for caregivers and other target groups.

“Family planning services will be available to couples and other eligible groups; there will also be antenatal care services for pregnant women who attend the clinic and these women will be given blood building drugs, Long Lasting Insecticide Nets to prevent malaria in pregnancy as well as other relevant drugs”, Onanuga stated.

While noting that the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas in the State will flag-off this program to create the necessary awareness and mobilization of the target population, he urged parents and caregivers to take advantage of the weeklong activities offered by the MNCH week and ensure that they benefit by accessing the services at any of the Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) or health posts nearest to them.

“The parents of school age children should also ensure they give their consent to the schools so that their wards can benefit from the nutritional assessment that will be provided; please note that all these beneficial services will be provided free of charge throughout the Week”, The Special Adviser added.

He explained that all the implementers of the MNCH week have been well equipped by trainers drawn from the State Ministry of Health, United Nations and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency; and are ready to provide all these services mentioned. He noted that there will be incentives in all the Primary Healthcare Centres and these will be given to as many as will visit the PHCs during the Week.

“I therefore seize this opportunity to plead with all our community leaders to take full responsibility of ensuring that all the targeted groups are reached and effectively mobilized to the PHCs”.

“I also use this medium to urge and encourage all Executive Secretaries of the various Local Governments and the Local Council Development Areas to lend their personal commitment and go the extra mile towards ensuring the success of the MNCH Week”, he said.

The Special adviser noted that the efforts of the State team towards improving the maternal and child morbidity indices in the State even in the face of the various challenges is highly commendable and appreciated.

He also acknowledged the contributions of the Federal Ministry of Health, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the Local Government Executive Secretaries, the State Social Mobilization Committee, UNICEF, Vitamin Angels, Save-The-Children International, WHO, JICA, Hypo Hygiene Products and Tomi’s Treats Limited to all child survival programmes in the state.

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