This Day (Lagos)

6 December 2012

Nigeria: Infant Mortality - Lagos to Save Six Million Children By 2015

The Lagos State Government has said it intends to save the lives of about six million children and 200,000 mothers in the state by 2015 through its new Integrated Maternal New-born and Child Health Strategy, currently being implemented in all health care institutions in the state.

The state Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, stated this yesterday, while speaking at the grand finale of the second round of the Year 2012 Maternal, New-born and Child Health Week (MNCH) celebrations, held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja.

Orelope-Adefulire said the strategy was designed to help in the implementation of various interventions developed by the state government to improve the health of mothers and children, with extra attention on newborns.

She added that the interventions, which included comprehensive revitalisation of the Primary Health Care system, development of the maternal mortality and Child Reduction Programme (MMR), as well as the provision of eight maternal and child centres across the state and increased focus on neonatal services under a public-private partnership has helped the government achieve a considerable reduction in maternal and infant mortality.

Orelope-Adefulire disclosed that in pursuant to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5, which placed particular emphasis on the lives of mother and child, the government during the course of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Week, introduced new packages to ensure that pregnant mothers, nursing mothers and their children enjoy extra medical care through provision of routine immunisation, Vitamin A Supplement, growth monitoring and promotion, as well as de-worming of under-five children.

She praised the support of the Federal Ministry of Health and partnering agencies and organisations, adding that their support and collaboration has assisted in the transformation of the State Health's system.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Special Adviser on Public Health to the Governor, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, said the celebration of the Maternal, Newborn and Child week is to appreciate the mothers and care-givers in the health sector.

She stated that the present administration in the state would continue to provide the necessary infrastructures and personnel for improved health service delivery, while enjoining the mothers and other care-givers to cooperate with the government by patronising health institutions and seeking medical attention at all times.

The Maternal, Newborn and Child week is held twice in the year, with the first round held in the month of May.

Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of awards to deserving and partnering Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), cash awards for multiple babies as well as the recognition and award to the best baby boy and girl of the round, who were crowned the Prince and Princess of the MNHC week.

At the well attended ceremony were top government functionaries, traditional rulers, local government chairmen as well as hundreds of mothers and their children.

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