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Lagos Pledges To Tackle Unnecessary Women, Infants’ Deaths

Infants’ Deaths
Posted: Jun 23, 2016 at 1:15 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Begins Maternal, Newborn Health Week Tomorrow

Chioma Umeha

Lagos-Following the recently released 2013 National Demographic Survey indices for neonatal, infant, under- five children and mothers which experts describe as scaring, Lagos State Government has reiterated its pledge to reduce maternal and child deaths in the State.

The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, who said this Thursday, at a news briefing to flag-off of activities for the implementation of the first round of year 2016 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCH) in Lagos, noted that the reports of the survey was not cheering.

Since maternal, perinatal and under-five-year child health indices have emerged as the most important health indices that determine global and national wellbeing, Onanuga said that the State will reduce the ugly statistics through its maternal and child mortality reduction programme.

According to him, government will not relent until preventive measures against maternal and child deaths are embraced.

Onanuga also restated the resolve of the government to ensure  that adequate health care for women and children is achieved.

According to him, maternal, perinatal and under-five-year child health indices have emerged as the most important health indices that determine global and national wellbeing, adding that the 2013 National Demographic Survey indices for neonatal, infant, under- five 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 of the need for concerted collaboration among every stakeholder in 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 begin tomorrow and end on Friday, 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.