By Abba – Eku Onyeka, Abuja
Honorable Minister, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Musa Bello has appealed to the National Association Resident Doctors (NARD) to not embark on strike actions as the world has over the time been fighting COVID-19 pandemic, adding that those to be mostly affected by the strike are the more vulnerable members of the society like the women requiring maternal care.
In a recent release from CPS to the FCT Administration, Anthony Ogunleye, the Minister made the appeal to NARD members when a delegation of Society of Ganaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) led by its president, Prof. Oluwarotimi Akinola paid a courtesy call on him recently.
The NARD members recently embarked on industrial strike, demanding that government fulfills its agreement with NARD members. After four days of the strike, executive of the Association at the national level however called of the strike under a condition and said that any state chapter that wasn’t satisfied could still go on with the industrial strike.
During the visit, the FCT Administration was however commended for its efforts in the reduction of maternal mortality rate in the FCT, through the implementation of the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) by SOGON.
The president therefore revealed that the Society introduced the MPDSR in 6 health facilities of the FCT, namely Nyanya, Bwari and Kwali General Hospitals and the Primary Healthcare centers at Kwali, Gbadalape and Kogo adding that the implementation of the MPDSR project in these areas has reduced the maternal mortality ratio in the FCT to below the national average. According to him, in Bwari Area Council, the maternal mortality ratio was reduced from 504/100,000 in 2014 to 468/100,000 in 2019, while maternal mortality was reduced from 317/100,000 in 2014 to 221/100,000 in 2019 in Nyanya, while the figures dropped in Kwali Area Council from 329/100,000 in 2014 to 268/100,000 in 2019.
Revevealing that the national average in 2008, 2013 and 2018 were 545/100,000, 576/100,000 and 512/100,000 respectively, ProfessorAkinola also commended the FCTA for the establishment of a budget line for the MPDSR programmes in the FCT, adding that the FCT was the first state in the country to do so, even as he added that the MPDSR project in the FCT has increased consciousness and accountability of health workers as the hospital and Primary Health Care staff have become more conscious on issues relating to maternal and perinatal deaths.
While thanking his guests for the commendation, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to the development of Primary healthcare centers in the FCT, just as he informed them that in furtherance of efforts to improve services at the primary Health care level, the FCTA recently employed 203 volunteer midwives and Community Health Extension workers and called on the Society to work very closely with the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCTA and the Office of the Hon. Minister of State for the continual provision of maternal healthcare services to the women of the FCT.
Also speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on Health Hon (Dr.) Tanko Sununu had commended the FCT Administration for the construction of the road leading to the offices of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the National Center for Disease Control.
Present at the meeting were the Permanent Secretary, FCTA Mr. Olusade Adesola, the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Dr Samuel Adejare, the Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, the Ag Secretary of the Health and Human Services Secretariat, FCTA, Dr Muhammed Kawu and other Executive Committee members of SOGON and senior staff of the FCT Administration.