By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja – The Kogi Government has renewed its resolve to end preventable maternal, newborn and child death in the state.
Dr Saka Audu, the state Commissioner for Health, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lokoja.
He fielded questions after a weeklong Maternal,
Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW), a week designed to offer free healthcare service for women and children under the age of five years across the state.
Audu said that the maternal, newborn and child healthcare had taken centre stage in the Kogi Health Sector since the advent of Gov. Yahaya Bello’s administration with numerous healthcare programmes.
According to him, the healthcare programmes includes Health Care Plus, Bello Health Intervention and MNCHW, which are delivering uninterrupted, free, high-impact and life-saving interventions to the door step of every Kogite.
“A week full of MNCH high-impact/Low-Cost interventions being implemented by Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA).
“The interventions are Vitamin A supplements, family planning with reliable contraception, deworming, penta vaccination and provision of free ORS for the treatment of diarrhoea.
“Others are Exclusive Breastfeeding facilitation, ANC – Iron-Folate supplementation, intermittent malaria prevention with free SP for pregnant women, free HIV counselling and testing (HCT).
“Free Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) to pregnant, lactating women and children under-five years, health education on key household practices, and birth registration, among others,” he said.
The commissioner stressed that Vitamin A supplementation had shown to have preventive effects on all-cause and disease specified deaths in children under five years, reduces all-cause neonatal mortality by 12 per cent and reduces all-cause mortality by 25 per cent.
“In developing countries like ours, 15 per cent of maternal deaths would be averted if women aged between 15 and 49 years who want no more children, had access to reliable contraception.
“Deworming of children twice a year reduces anaemia and improves cognitive development.
“Penta vaccination has 17 per cent chances of reducing infant mortality; about 30,000 child death would be averted yearly.
“Free distribution of ORT has the potential of reducing death due to diarrhoea or related diseases by 50 per cent, which kill 1.2 million children annually worldwide; and majority of these deaths occur in the first two years of their lives.
“Exclusive breastfeeding that is usually taught during the MNCHW can help reduce child mortality by 15 per cent,” Audu explained.
NAN recalls that the MNCHW commenced on July 15 and ended on July 20 across the state.
He restated that the governor had an uncommon determination to end preventable maternal and child death, noting that he had assented to the Maternal and Prenatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) bill.
He said that the MPDSR Bill had now criminalised deliberate refusal to report maternal death and refusal to take action when such a case was reported.
“Offenders will be liable to six months imprisonment or N100,000 fine or both,” Audu said.