Paul Orude, Bauchi
Wife of the Bauchi State Governor, Hajia Hadiza Mohammed, has flagged-off the Maternal Newborn and Child Week 2018, with 1.3 million children under the age of five year and 300,000 pregnant women expected to receive free health and nutritional interventions in the state.
Speaking during the event held at Yelwa Domiciliary Clinic, Yelwa, Hajia Hadiza Abubakar, said that the MNCH week is a strategy approved by the National Council of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO), to improve the health and nutritional status of children and women.
The governor’s wife stated that the Week, which is a bi-annual event supported by child welfare organisations such as UNICEF, would deliver comprehensive package of free cost but high impact health and nutritional interventions during this round to pregnant women and children under the age of five years.
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Her words, “These interventions include vitamin A supplements, de-worming tablets, and immunisation among others which have all been proven to reduce under five morbidity and mortality from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia and measles.
“This Week is also an opportunity to raise the community awareness of the importance of key households practices.”
The Bauchi First Lady used the occasion to encourage pregnant women and all parents to cooperate fully with the healthcare workers by bringing out their children during the exercise so that they can receive the full benefit of the intervention.
She continued, “I would like to thank all the health development partners particularly UNICEF, WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates and Dangote Foundations, World Banks Assisted Projects-NSHIP, SMOL,Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BAN), Plan International (Canada Global Affairs Funded BORN Project, Helen Keller International and USAID Funded MCSP, TCI, and other government agencies for all their support.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Chairman , Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSHCDA), Pharmacy Adamu Gamawa, said the activities for the MNCH week would be carried out at designated points within the 323 wards in the state, with two Primary Health Care (PHC) centres per ward.
He said that the intervention would also include screening for malnutrition, Birth Registration and promotions of other child protection services like hand washing, exclusive breastfeeding and so on.
” It is heartwarming to note that Bauchi State is rated among the best performing states, the present administration has impacted positively on health care services especially Health Care services especially at the Primary level where more than 70 per cent of the citizenry attend,” Gamawa said.
In her remark, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Zuwaira Hassan, enjoined pregnant women and all mothers to retain their cards to fully enjoy the intervention and to take care of the cards for documentation.
Hassan commended the efforts of the Bauchi First Lady Hajia Abubakar and the founder of Bauchi Sustainable Women Economic Empowerment and Peace Initiative (BSWEEP) and the administration towards the well being of the citizens of the state, especially women and children.