By Nnedinma C Okeke/Chukwudi Nwauba 

Isiagu (Awka South LGA), July 15, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has described the ongoing Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) as effective in reducing child mortality and improving mother and child health. 

Gov. Obiano said this during the flag-off ceremony of the first round 2021 MNCHW at Primary Health Centre (PHC), Isiagu, Awka South Local Government Area (LGA). 

The Governor noted that the interventions complemented the routine health services by ensuring that basic care reached all mothers and their children. 

He commended the Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA) for planning and ensuring that the programme was implemented in Anambra. 

Gov. Obiano, then, enjoined mothers/caregivers to ensure they visit PHCs, general and mission hospitals to access benefits of the MNCHW while always adhering to the COVID-19 principles and guidelines. 

The Governor was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala. 

While welcoming all at the occasion, the Executive Secretary ASPHCDA, Dr. Chioma Ezenyimulu noted that the weeklong event observed in all PHCs in Anambra state commenced on July 12. 

She noted that the MNCHW aimed at contributing toward improving the health status of Nigerian women and children by improving coverage of key maternal, newborn, and child health interventions. 

“This event holds twice a year and Anambra State has always participated fully in this national event from its inception in 2010. 

“Interventions given during the week include; Nutrition screening (Mid Upper Arm Circumference -MUAC), Vitamin A, Birth registration, Family Planning, Deworming, Ante-natal care; Iron foliate, Tetanus Toxoid Vaccination and Sulphadoxime Pyrimethamine. 

“Others are Health education and sensitisation on key household practices especially, hand washing, breastfeeding, Routine Immunisation, HIV Counseling, and testing. 

“These commodities which are given free of charge have been distributed to all PHCs across the state to ensure full implementation of the week,’’ Dr. Ezenyimulu explained. 

“Under the leadership of Gov. Obiano, Anambra State qualified for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), which is a percent of the consolidated revenue of the federation. 

“Under BHCPF, we have also engaged 60 Midwives for our PHCs to fill the gaps temporarily in our health workforce. 

“We need urgent intervention in the employment of health workers as our health staff members keep retiring without being replaced,’’ Dr Ezenyimulu observed. 

While urging everyone to keep observing all COVID-19 Prevention Protocols, the ES noted that no fewer than 60,000 Ndi Anambra had been fully vaccinated in the just-concluded first phase COVID-19 vaccination in the state. 

She, then, thanked the state health team, partners, and Awka South LGA’s team for hosting the event. 

The Transition Committee Chairman, Awka South LGA, Mr. Leo Nwuba noted that the MNCHW was an integrated package of cost-effective services and interventions to strengthen the routine PHCs services. 

“The quality of primary healthcare services in Anambra State is one of the best in Nigeria; at a time, the state came first in Nigeria on Routine Immunisation. 

“The state is also among the first to embrace and fulfill requirements for BHCPF; the benefits of which cannot be overemphasised. 

“Here in Awka South LGA, we are developing all sectors, following the footsteps of our working Governor. 

“In the health sector, we are closing all identified gaps with a view to achieving universal access to quality healthcare. 

“Our medical outreach programme, “the Chairman’s Health Outreach’’, has targeted adults and the elderly in communities.  “It highlights the need for early diagnosis through routine Blood pressure, Blood sugar, Body Mass Index (BMI), and other vital body checks – “Know your Numbers,’’ he explained.  (MOI)

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