By Akadiri Ademola
Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has appealed to mothers in the state to take full advantage of the one week bi-annual Maternal Newborn and Child Health exercise, to help reduce high maternal mortality rate in the state.
The Governor made this appeal on Monday in Lokoja at the official flag off of the one week exercise.
Bello who was represented at the event by his commissioner for health Dr. Saka Haruna Audu stated that the week was aimed at delivering basic, cost effective, life saving interventions and services to pregnant women and children under the age of five, with a general objective of reducing child mortality and improving maternal and child health.
He asserted that such effort came as a result of unacceptably poor maternal and under five health statistics which were both alarming and embarrassing and required an urgent need to reverse such palpable trend.
Bello further implored Local Government Administrators to take ownership of the exercise and ensure that all areas in the state were effectively covered.
On her own part, the first lady of the state Mrs. Rashidat Bello similarly urged all women to actively participate in the one week event, which she assured was aimed at improving the wellbeing of pregnant and children under the age of five.
The first lady then used the medium to advise women to place more priority on their health and well being, while she also encouraged that women across board should help spread the message of the exercise in their various localities, to help ensure that more persons were reached.
Representing the Commissioner for Health at the event, Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Dr. Saka Attah reiterated that the strategic positioning of the health sector in the News Direction’s administration thematic blueprint was yielding good fruit which they people were a testament to
He noted that, Alhaji yahaya Bello has given rapt attention to the health sector in the state, pointing out key infrastructural boast in primary and secondary health care, as well as structural facelift of medical schools in the state, recruitments of health workers, procurement of free drugs and free medical support for over 500 patient across the state.
He also lauded the flag off as a great achievement, which he believed would further ensure that the state achieve its aim in the delivering evident health care services to its people.
The one week event is expected to hold between Monday 30th July till the Friday 3rd of August, and would be dedicated to free Health interventions, which includes HIV Testing Services, Antenatal care, Malaria prevention, Family planning services and Health promotion.
Other services which would be carried out in all Primary Health Care facilities across the state includes Nutrition Assessment, Vitamin A supplementation, De-worming, Routine Immunisation, Birth Registration and Long lasting Insecticidal Nets distribution.