By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory administration (FCTA) looks to improve the health of women and children through increased support for the Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality Week (MNCMW).
Recall that the FCTA last weekend commenced the first round of MNCHW in 2018, aimed at reducing maternal, neonatal and child mortality rates in the Territory.
The secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Barr Amanda Pam, frowned at the prevalence of malnutrition amongst under-five children in FCT, hence the need to support and MNCMW.
Pam described as alarming a recent study, which revealed that an approximately one million under-five children and women die annually in Nigeria.
She also described as unacceptable a survey that as many as 2,300 under-five children and 145 women of childbearing age die every single day in the country.
Speaking through a Director in the Secretariat, Dr. Matthew Ashikeni, the secretary explained that the MNCHW has been set aside to deliver a package of high impact key maternal, newborn and child survival interventions that have been proven to reduce maternal, neonatal and child mortality.
She added that the 2018 MNCH week with the theme, ‘A Package for a Lifetime of Better Health for the Family’, would provide free health facility-based services, like Vitamin A supplementation for children of 6-59 months, as well as deworming of children between 12-59months.
Also, routine immunization against the vaccine preventable diseases for children (0-11 months), growth monitoring and promotion, food demonstration and nutrition screening of children aged 6-59 months, as well as other interventions would be conducted within the period.
Pama therefore called on FCT residents particularly parents, care givers, traditional and religious leaders to take up the role of MNCHW ambassadors by encouraging and mobilizing women, caregivers and children to the health facilities closest to them to access the interventions within the period.
Also speaking, the executive secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board (PHCB), Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed that the board has trained about 248 workers in the entire six area councils, to cover both the wards and village levels.
Mohammed added that volunteers would equally be going into the hinterland to make sure that Vitamin A supplement, deworming tablets and ANC drugs are provided at the centres in the rural areas.
He added that 278 centres have been provided to access these commodities free of charge.