Maputo — The permanent secretary of the Tete provincial government, in western Mozambique, Lina Portugal, on Monday urged Mozambican women to adopt family planning methods to ensure spacing between births.
She was speaking in Tete city at the ceremony to launch National Health Week in the province. During the week the Tete authorities hope to reach 435,000 children with preventive measures such as Vitamin A supplements, and doses of the deworming drug mebandazole.
“National Health Week is of great importance for our population, because services for the well-being of our citizens, particularly our children, will be provided”, said Portugal. “So we are calling for massive support at the health units and at the places that will be visited by the mobile brigades”.
During the week, health workers will offer a variety of modern contraceptive methods to women of childbearing age, and Portugal urged the women of Tete to take the opportunity to plan the births of their children”.
“A woman is not a factory which should make children every year, since that affects the health of the children”, she said. “Children should grow up healthy. And so we shall all, mothers and fathers, undertake family planning to avoid giving birth to children year after year, as has been happening”.
Chronic malnutrition is another problem that concerns the government, and the removal of intestinal parasites through doses of mebandazole would help improve children's nutritional status.
Portugal declared that it made little sense for children to be malnourished in Tete, when the province has enormous potential for food production. “We have sufficient food”, she said. “What is missing is to combine foodstuffs correctly so that our children are not affected by malnutrition”.
Iron deficiency, expressed in anaemia, is a further problem that can easily be treated, and Portugal urged that children should be taken to health units to be given ferrous salt.
She called on the public to communicate with the health teams, who are all duly identified, and to avoid any disinformation campaign.