Wife of the Cross River State governor, Linda Atade has flagged off a basket of services for women and children under an integrated package of highly cost-effective MNCH services/interventions.
Over 900,000 Children and about 3,000 pregnant Women are set to benefit from the various forms of Health Interventions which includes Nutritional supplements, Delivery Kits, Vaccination, distribution of long lasting insecticide treated net.
The initiative will help reduce the increasing rate of Malnutrition, malaria, vaccines preventable diseases amongst other common causes of Maternal and Child Mortality.
The Official Flag-off Ceremony for the 2021 Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week took place in Bogobri as part of the Eid Mubarak Celebration alongside the introduction of the Injectable Polio Vaccine 2.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony, Dr Linda Ayade assured Families of government’s commitment towards eradicating every vaccine preventable diseases as well as continued fight against common causes of deaths in Pregnant Women and Children.
In her words; “The choice of the Hausa-Fulani settlement (Bogobri) was strategic as the government is determined towards closing the ranks in Health Facility utilization by creating awareness on requirements from citizens who before now were constrained.”
She insists that utilization of healthcare facilities for services remains the right thing to do and should be enjoyed by all.
“A healthy Nation is as a result of healthy Children so its better we prevent this diseases than curing. I want to commend the head of the CRS health sector Dr Betta Edu and the DG for working so hard to keep the State safe reducing major health challenges, this is a clear indication that perfect hands were chosen. Health ministry ranks top in Cross River state!.”
Speaking also during the event, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu who described gestation period (pregnancy) as the most demanding period that requires mothers to get uncompromised access to essential nutrients which are fundamental for their lives and those of their babies charged their husbands to accord them the necessary support and care during and after this period.
“I encourage Women to take the responsibility of accessing medical care during pregnancy to help keep them and their babies safe, husbands needs to support their spouse during this period.
“Our Traditional and Religious leaders need to also see it as a duty to advise Pregnant Women to always register for antenatal services so they can get medical services like screening for HIV/AIDs, Vaccinations, routine drugs, awareness on Maternal and Child dietary requirements as well as giving birth in the best of facilities under standard professional care. Cross River state has been polio free for over a Decade, let’s give our children the IPV2 to ensure continuous protection against polio.”
On her part, the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong described the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week as a high impact intervention for Mothers and Children which is aimed at bridging the gap in Communities as a result of the minimal access to healthcare services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
She noted that this year’s intervention is focused in the rural areas. The Director General intimated the people on the newly introduced Inactivated Polio vaccine 2 by the Federal Government which she said will further help to prevent the Polio virus.
“Health Workers have been deployed to various Communities to create more awareness. Women were encouraged to take their Children to the closest healthcare centres in order to get access to Vitamin A Supplements for Children under age five, deworming tablets and Immunization to guarantee full Immunity against Childhood killer diseases, ” she said.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke during the event, a four Months old Pregnant Woman Hadiza Chiroma, blessing and Aisha thanked the Government of Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade, his wife Dr Linda Ayade and the Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu and her team for always reaching out to them regularly to sensitize them as well as providing quality Healthcare services in various government owned facilities.
She noted that the Muslim Community has never been neglected as they’ve always gotten fair and equal treatment in all cases in Calabar.
Good will messages were received from the Chairman of Calabar South, Esther Bassey, the Sarki of the Hausa/Fulani Community Abba Lawan, the President of CROWEI, Lawrencia Ita, Traditional leaders, Health Implementing partners like the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, WHO, UNICEF, Vitamin International, National Orientation Agency, CAN.
The highpoints of the event was the administration of Vitamin A supplements, distribution of delivery kits by the Wife of the State Governor to Children under 5 years and pregnant woman, administration of the IPV was done by the Commissioner got Health and DG, Distribution of food materials donated by wife of Governor to the host Community.