Evidence for Action (E4A-mamaYe), an international Non-Governmental Organization want the Taraba state government to improve on maternal new-born and child healthcare (MNCH) delivery services in the state.
National Coordinator of the organization, Dr Aminu Garba Magashi made the call yesterday in Jalingo while speaking with journalists after a two day capacity training workshop for members of Taraba State Accountability Mechanism on MNCH (TaSAMM).
Magashi explained that E4A is a United Kingdom funded Programme which aim at improving maternal and newborn survival in six sub-Saharan countries namely, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania.
In Nigeria, the Programme is being implemented in five states of Ondo, Bauchi, Taraba, Kano and Sokoto state.
“E4A acts as a catalyst for action, using evidence strategically to generate political commitment, strengthen accountability and improve planning and decision making at sub-national and national levels. E4A also works to strengthen international and regional accountability”, he said.
The National Coordinator said there was need for Taraba state government and policy makers in the state to give topmost priority to the health sector especially on issues bordering on maternal and new-born health.
According to him15 per cent of the state budget ought to go to the health sector in line with the Abuja Declaration on health.
He expressed concerns that statistics from 2013 National Health Survey show that Taraba and other states within the north east sub region performed low on issues of maternal and new-born health in comparison to states within the southern parts of the country.
Dr. Magashi observed that a situation where less than 30 per cent of pregnant women in the state deliver at health facility indicates ‘red card’ and called on government to do more to ensure improved antenatal and postnatal care for women in the state.
He urged members of the Taraba State Accountability Mechanism on MNCH to embark on aggressive advocacy to policy makers, philanthropists, financial institutions and other stakeholders that would assist in the improvement of maternal and new-born health in the state.