From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Wife of the Nigerian President, Aisha Buhari has urged the 36 States of the federation to ensure full implementation of all stages of the Maternal, Newborn, Child Health Week (MNCHW).
Mrs Buhari gave the advice on Monday in Lokoja, at the official flag-off ceremony of the week long free healthcare services for women and children to mark the first phase of 2018 MNCHW in the state.
“We know, in spite the potential benefits of the MNCH week in improving maternal and child health indices, some states are not able to carry out this activity as expected for different reasons.
“I am calling on states that are yet to implement the MNCH week activities, to do so for the benefit of women and children.
“The MNCH week provides a good platform for the delivery of these lifesaving interventions particularly to communities in underserved and hard to reach areas,” she said.
Mrs Buhari, who was represented by one of her associates, Mrs Grace Sharma, commended Gov. Yahaya Bello and his wife for their efforts and commitment towards the successful flag-off of the MNCH Week.
She noted that some progress had been made towards improving the health and wellbeing of women and children in the last three years in Kogi, as well as other states of the federation.
Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, appreciated the wife of the President and other donor partners particularly the Federal Ministry of Health for introducing the Save One Million Lives (SOML).
Bello, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, said that the SOML was targeted at improving maternal and Child health, thereby reducing Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality rates.
He noted that the programme has tremendously improved the health of Kogi people through its six thematic areas including the MNCHW.
Bello added that the MNCHW would provide for the people: Vitamin A supplement and De-worming tablets, Routine Immunization, Family Planning, Birth Registration, and Ante-natal Care services among others.
The wife of the Governor, Mrs Rashida Bello, said the MNCH week was an important period meant to put extra effort to reduce all health challenges affecting mothers and their newborn babies.
She said that the exercise would hold simultaneously in all the 21 local government areas of Kogi, to provide services to mothers, especially pregnant women, and to have children vaccinated against killer diseases.
Dr Yakubu Abubakar, the Executive Director, Kogi Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA), said the MNCHW was being funded by SOML, a program sponsored by World Bank, which has touched lives of thousands women and children across the state.
The acting State Coordinator of World Health Organisation (WHO), Pharm. Daniel Dego, commended the effort of the state government at ensuring the well being of Kogi people and urged the state not to relent in that regard.