Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Monday assured the people of the state of his commitment to ensure considerable reduction in maternal, newborn and child mortality rate in the state.
The governor gave the commitment in Lokoja at the inauguration of Maternal, Newborn, Child Health Week (MNCHW), free healthcare services for women and children between six and 59 years.
Bello, who was represented the governor at the occasion by Mrs folashade Ayoade, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) promised to improve maternal and child health care services.
His administration, he said, would ensure increased quality of life for the people.
“By the grace of God, we have been delivering on our promises to the people and we are determined to do more in collaboration with our development partners.
“This administration will continue to support maternal, newborn and child health to make tremendous impacts on women and children; we implore the people to take full advantage of this intervention package,” Bello said.
The governor enjoined health workers to be diligent in their duties for the success of the government programmes.
He called on mothers to devoted time to breastfeed their children, stressing that ‘’a child that is well breastfed will live a super healthy life.’’
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna, commended the governor for demonstrating the political and financial commitments to the health sector.
He said that the Bello-led administration had put Kogi Ministry of Health side by side with other Ministries of Health across the country.
According to him, MNCHW is a week-long, high impact and low cost strategy aimed at delivering health dividends to women and children in the country, adding that Kogi has keyed into MNCHW since the inception of its New Direction Administration.
Haruna said that the government, under “Bello Health Intervention (BHI)” programme has provided Free Medical Outreach targeted at about 50, 000 patients and concluded with resounding success.
“Free paediatric drugs were distributed to health facilities and 10s of Kogi indigenes were sponsored for advanced medical attention, home and abroad.
“Preparations are at the concluding phase for the official grand launch of the Saving One Million Lives Programme and the Healthcare plus programmes, among others.
“Our immediate and long term health development plans and targets are fully on course as stipulated in the New Direction Blueprint for the health sector,” Haruna said.
Dr Ahmed Attah, Special Adviser to the governor on Health Matters, said, the state government had prioritised health sector more than all previous governments in Kogi.”
Mr Bolarinwa Ogundusi, the state Nutrition Officer/MNCHW Focal Person, said MNCHW stemmed from the need to boost coverage of high impact interventions for mother, newborn and child survival.
He said that 651, 095 children in the state had received vitamin A supplement this year..
“The intervention for this round includes vitamin A supplementation; immunisations; focus antenatal care; health education; HIV testing/counseling; family planning services, among others,” Ogundusi said.
In his remarks, the Administrator of Lokoja, Local Government Area, Shiru Lawal, also commended the governor for his steadfastness in the provision of quality healthcare services to people of the state.
He said that the exercise would make the state to contribute immensely to the reduction in number of children under five years that died yearly in Nigeria from preventable childhood diseases.
The state branch Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Godwin Tijani, praised Bello for the achievements of his administration in the health sector, especially in manpower.
Hesaid,”As an association, we are assuring health ministry that NMA is always ready to give the needed support to the government, to ensure progress in the health sector
“We are ready to partner with you anytime and any day”.