Lagos govt. restates commitment to reduce maternal, infant mortalities

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The Lagos State Government says it is committed to promoting optimal health for all residents by improving their health-seeking behaviour.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said this in a statement announcing the forthcoming Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (MNCAH) week on Thursday in Lagos.

Abayomi said that the MNCAH week was established in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and other development partners to increase access to quality maternal, newborn, child and adolescent healthcare services.

“Customarily, it is implemented twice yearly and being the pioneering state, we have been consistent with this laudable initiative.

“It has done nothing else but improves our health indices across the state especially with the under-five children and women.

“In addition to improving the health seeking behaviour of residents, this programme also promotes the reduction in the fragmentation of healthcare services especially at the primary level.

“It also improves the provision of healthcare services in an integrated manner which is more sustainable, efficient, impactful and cost-effective,” he said.

He listed the interventions to be provided during the health week as; provision of vitamin A supplement, malnutrition screening for children between the ages of six months to 59 months.

Others are deworming of children between the ages of 12 to 59 months, birth registration, as well as HIV and Tuberculosis screening.

Abayomi said that maternal, infant and child deaths were preventable with improved health-seeking behaviours, access to timely healthcare, and provision of life-saving commodities which the week-long MNCAH intervention seeks to achieve.

According to him, the week is scheduled to hold from Dec. 6 to Dec. 10, in all the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) and designated sites across the state.

He disclosed that the MNCAH week would be flagged off by Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the wife of Lagos state governor, on Dec. 3, at the Ikorodu Town hall.

Abayomi said the week would ensure free access to high impact but low-cost promotive and preventive health interventions for the mothers, children, adolescents and women.

He added that this would prevent the common causes of morbidity and mortality in these population groups.

Abayomi said that health interventions for adolescents especially in the area of reproductive health and psychosocial support had been in the front burner of the ministry’s activities.

He stressed that this was to ensure their protection and provide an enabling environment to attain their optimal potentials.

“At the moment, there are 13 state owned specialised centres that cater for the reproductive needs of adolescents, while putting into consideration their conservative lifestyles.

“Six of these centres take care of the teenage moms in addition to the youth friendly services offered to adolescents,” he said.

Abayomi added that the state was making efforts toward the reduction of the stunting rate of under-five children from the current 17 per cent to less than 10 per cent.

The commissioner advised residents to visit the PHCs and designated sites to avail themselves of the cost effective health interventions provided during the week.