Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode has lent her voice and support to the new Integrated, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (IMNCH) strategy adopted in Nigeria to tackle the maternal and child mortality challenge.
Speaking today at the flag-off ceremony to signal the commencement of the first round of Year 2018 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) week in Lagos, Mrs. Ambode noted that the strategy will improve demand for wide range of high-impact and low-cost packages of protective, preventive and promotive health services.
According to her, these include routine immunization; vitamin A supplementation; growth monitoring and promotion involving screening for malnutrition and appropriate counselling or referral; distribution of de-worming medicine and information, enlightenment and communication materials.
Ambode, who was represented by the Wife of the Chief Medical Director of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Mrs. Oluwakemi Oke, stated that this year’s MNCH week will hold between Monday 16th and Friday 20th July, 2018.
In her words, “During the week, routine immunization; vitamin A supplementation; growth monitoring and promotion involving screening for malnutrition and other wide range of high-impact and low-cost packages of protective, preventive and promotive services will be provided to families in an integrated manner using existing routine structures of the primary health care platform during the week”.
She added that women of childbearing age will be given tetanus toxoid during the week while they will also be counselled on key household practices like exclusive breastfeeding, hand-washing, oral rehydration therapy and home management of fever.
“Furthermore, ante-natal care and family planning service will also be provided to pregnant women who attend the primary health care clinics. They will, in addition, receive long-lasting insecticide nets as well as intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in pregnancy”, Ambode explained.
Mrs. Ambode declared that maternal and child health has emerged as the most important issue that determines global and national well-being, stressing that every individual, family and community is at some point intimately involved in pregnancy and success of childbirth.
She maintained that issues of maternal and child mortality must be brought under total control in line with the government’s quest for the status of a megacity that is internally respected.
While urging residents, especially caregivers to take children under five years to any of the primary health care centres or health posts nearest to them for these services during the designated week, she urged mothers and caregivers to continue to avail themselves of these health services even after the celebration of the week in order to reduce maternal child mortality in Lagos.
“It is my belief that this exercise will improve demand for a range of services provided at the primary health centres on the part of caregivers while PHCs will scale up their efforts to accommodate the increased demand”, the Governor’s wife asserted.
Earlier in his address, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga stated that the goal of State government is to ensure that no mother or child dies from preventable diseases and that this goal can only be met if parents and caregivers cooperate with the government by ensuring that all pregnant women duly registered in the State’s public hospitals for successful outcomes of pregnancy and childbirth.
“Parents and caregivers must cooperate with the government to ensure eligible children complete all routine immunization schedules. Together, we must add value to the lives of our mother and children by ensuring the successful implementation of the strategy during the MNCH week”, he said