Abakaliki — The Ebonyi State government at the weekend said that under the first round of 2017 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week, (MNCHW), 124, 900 children would be immunized against the polio virus, 588,908 would be immunized against night blindness, 147,249 would be dewormed while nursing mothers would also be targeted for immunization.
The State government also said that it would spend N1.8 Billion to boost primary health care delivery in the 13 Local Government area of the state in 2017 under the Save One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOME P for R) initiative of the Federal Government.
The State Governor, Chief David Umahi, who made the disclosure in Ezillo, Ishielu Local Government Area of the state during the inauguration of the first round of 2017 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) said that the administration was committed to providing qualitative and quantitative health care services to the citizens of the state.
Chief Umahi represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kelechi Igwe stated that boosting primary health care delivery in the state is critical for the enhancement of the welfare, wellbeing and improving the general health status of every citizen of the state adding that the week long programme is aimed at complementing the health care delivery services of the state Ministry of Health.
Dr. Igwe enjoined nursing mothers, pregnant women and care givers to make judicious use of the programme to get their children immunized against the major six child killer-disease as well as safe guard the lives of the unborn child and commended the efforts of the development partners including the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF among others for their support and contribution to the development of the primary health care sector of the state.
The State Deputy Governor noted that polio and other child killer-diseases had been eradicated while some had been reduced to the barest minimum through many interventions of government in the provision of quality health care service and urged health managers to streamline the health reporting system to reflect the present reality noting that Ebonyi eradicated polio virus in the state since 2009 adding that there has not been any new reported new case of outbreak of the disease in any part of the state.
According to him; "The Maternal, New Born and Child Health Care services is aimed at complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Health in the provision of sound and qualitative health care delivery to our citizens. This government places much premium on primary health care delivery and has made several interventions in the area including equipping the 171 Primary Health Care Development Centres for improved service delivery.
"We urge our mothers especially the nursing and pregnant mothers to take advantage of the week to vaccinate their children between zero and 59 months while pregnant women should immunize to secure the livesof the unborn children. We commend the efforts of our development partners for their continued support and and assistance in this regard, "Umahi said.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Umezuruike, said that Maternal Newborn and Child Health Care under the SOML PforR was the initiative of the FG aimed at saving one million lives of women and children annually in each of the 36 states of the federation noting that the programme was among key decisions reached at the 53rd National Council on Health (NCH) held in 2010 in Asaba, Delta state geared towards reduction of child and maternal mortality.
"The programme is aimed at getting children and women of reproductive age immunized against the killer diseases, educate nursing mothers on importance of exclusive breastfeeding and importance of ante-natal care for pregnant women. The programme has been domesticated in Ebonyi.