From Osakhare Erese Asaba
The wife of Delta State Governor, Dame Edith Okowa, has reiterated the commitment of the state government to the provision of quality health for all Deltans. Dame Okowa sated this yesterday in Asaba when she flagged-off the second round of Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW).
She said that the state government, as part of efforts to strengthen the health care needs of Deltans had started implementing free medical care for the elderly and disabled, as well as improved the free Under-Five medical services.
She called on mothers to be the ambassadors of health of their wards by taking vaccination of their children and wards seriously, or be held responsible if preventable diseases affect them, stressing that ignorance was not an excuse.
She called on women to help in the reduction of the ratio of maternal mortality by choosing from the various family planning options as effective ‘family planning reduces the death of mothers’.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge during his opening address at the occasion, said that the state had successfully implemented 16 rounds of the MNCHW since its inception in March 2010.
He said that the programme was an intervention measure for preventive and curative services, aimed at reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality rate in Nigeria.
Dr. Azinge noted that with the contributory Health Insurance Scheme and the Delta State Strategic Health Work Plan, the state government was poised to improve healthcare coverage.
On her part, the Delta State (DSPHCDA) Chairman, Dr. (Mrs.) Isioma Okobah said that the agency is working according to the 1978 Declaration on Primary Health Care.
She said that activities would involve fixed post in the health facilities and outreach to markets, schools, churches and mosques and appealed to communities to own the programme. Okobah praised the resilience of the health workers for their dedication, focus and commitment to duty in the various Primary Healthcare Centres, especially in the rural communities, for bringing health services closer to Deltans.
Speaking on behalf of the donor partner of the MNCHW, UNICEF Rivers’ Field Office Mrs. Ngozi Onuorah said that the state was in the five priorities state due to the commitment of the state government. She appreciated the governor for approving nutrition and immunization activities in the year 2018 budget, opining that it would help in improving the statistics of the state.
In the same vein, the state coordinator of the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ofonakor Uzoka said that Nigeria was the second largest contributor to maternal mortality worldwide and appealed to the state government to sustain the health drive by releasing the state government’s conditional counterparts fund.
He said that the NPHCDA was renovating one primary health facility per ward in the state to boost healthcare delivery.