Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire has urged mothers and care givers to continue to avail themselves of the various preventive and protective healthcare services in the state as means of reducing maternal and child mortality.
Adefulire, who gave the advice at the grand finale of the first round of year 2013 maternal, newborn and child health week in Lagos noted that the new integrated maternal, newborn and child health strategy already adopted in Nigeria and the maternal mortality reduction programme are part of strategies to tackle head-on the reduction of maternal and child mortality.
The Deputy Governor who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Risikat Akiode noted that the maternal and child health week is an awareness programme for every household especially mothers and care givers stressing that the celebration of the week in the state reflects the state government’s commitment towards the attainment of millennium development goals four and five by 2015.
“I am happy to know that since the maternal, newborn and child health week was adopted nationally in 2010, more women are becoming aware of the roles they need to play to reduce maternal and child morbidity. This to me is the essence of the programme”, she said.
Adefulire who stated that health of mothers and children under five year old is one of the most important issues that determine the well being of a nation stressed that even though there is a tremendous improvement in maternal mortality rate in Lagos, there is still a lot of work to be done.
“Our mothers, for instance need more education and the right knowledge to prevent avoidable deaths and disabilities in children. Through this programme, we will continue that sensitization, advocacy and campaign to reduce maternal mortality”, She said.
The Deputy Governor also urged men to increase their supportive role in the challenging task of caring for mothers and children.
Earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina noted that the week is designated for children under five years of age, pregnant women, adolescents, mothers, fathers and members of the community with the provision of integrated high-impact packages of promoting preventive services.
Adeshina stated that during the week-long celebration, over 170% of the estimated target population of under five children received insecticide treated nets, 80% of the pregnant mothers targeted for the programme received free ante natal care services while 98% of target population received vitamin A supplementation and another 38% of the target population received vaccines.
She noted that the state government has commenced the revitalization of Primary Health Centres in the state adding that government is also making concerted efforts in the areas of renovation, infrastructural development, capacity building of health workers, recruitment of more health workers, provision of basic emergency obstetric equipment and drugs as well as mobilization and sensitization activities to reduce maternal and child deaths in Lagos.
“In line with the objective of this week, it is my sincere hope that all of us will continue to avail ourselves with healthcare services which are always available for us at all the primary healthcare centres in Lagos State”, she said. The high point of the event was the crowning of the MNCH week prince and princess who were selected from princes and princesses presented by the 57 local governments and local council development areas in the state as well as recognition of the role model father and mother.