UMUAHIA – Stakeholders in the maternal and child health sector have lauded the Federal Government for introducing the SURE-P health component.
The commendation was contained in a two-page communiqué issued at the end of a one-day state-level advocacy and sensitisation meeting in Umuahia on Wednesday.
The communiqué noted that the programme would help to improve access to maternal and child health services in Abia State and Nigeria in general.
The stakeholders, which comprised representatives of the Abia Council of Traditional Rulers and professionals in the health sector, however, noted that the facilities were not evenly spread in the 17 council areas.
They observed that awareness about SURE-P health programme by the generality of the people in the state was poor.
They also described the supply of needed drugs and other consumables at some intervention health centres as poor.
It was observed that although the programme was supposed to be managed by the three-tiers of government, “there is no clear demarcation of the programmes undertaken by each of the tiers.”
The stakeholders urged SURE-P to empower civil society organisations to embark on aggressive advocacy and sensitisation to create the desired awareness about the programme.
They recommended that the decision on the location of SURE-P health centres be taken by the various stakeholders to ensure their even spread.
They also recommended the extension of SURE-P beyond the stipulated intervention period.
“There should be clear cut demarcation regarding what each tier of the government is doing with its SURE-P allocation so that we can fully appreciate them,’’ the stakeholders added.
They encouraged sons and daughters of the various benefiting communities to embrace the programme and collaborate with SURE-P so that its objectives would get down to the grassroots level.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of ministries of health, women affairs and youth development, local governments, ward development committees, the National Council for Women Societies, the Nigeria Medical Association and the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives.
Others were representatives of civil society organisations, the students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, youth leaders and the state police command. (NAN)