The Bayelsa State First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Gloria Diri has restated government’s commitment to revitalize primary health care facilities in local government areas across the state.
She made this known at the Flag Off of the Optimized Maternal New Born and Child Health week (OMNCHW) at the Ompadec Field, Amarata, Yenagoa.
Mrs. Diri noted that the Programme will extend the coverage of key maternal and child health interventions to reduce maternal, newborn and under-five mortality across the state.
She said the overall goal of the OMNCHW is to increase population coverage at low cost and promote utilization of health facilities by pregnant women, encouraging them to have focused antenatal visits.
The First Lady said other strategies to achieve this goal will include immunization, deworming of children, distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets, provision of family planning and birth control information services among others.
She added that the government is ever ready to create and adopt good strategies to improve Reproductive Maternal, Newborn Child Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) in the state.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Newton Igwele said the burden of maternal and child morbidities in the state is unacceptably high which mainly occurs during labour, delivery and immediate post partum period.
He stated that an effective means of reducing this burden is provision of preventive measures or early treatment to women and newborns at the primary health care centres.
Dr. Igwele assured that he will not relent in the pursuance of this cause as he remains committed to strengthening primary health care which is a major platform towards achieving universal health coverage.
The Chairman, Bayelsa State Primary Health Care Board (BSPHCB) Hon. Mrs. Victoria Denenu said the OMNCHW affords women and children access to vitamin A supplementation, provision of iron folate to pregnant women, malaria prevention services among others.
She commended the Saving One Million Lives Programme For Results (SOML PforR) under the Ministry of Health, for their support, adding that the Primary health Care Board is committed to giving greater attention to mother and child health needs in the state.
In his Welcome Address, the Executive Secretary, BSPHCB, Dr. Martins Bekesu said simple interventions such as proper nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, therapeutic interventions for the management of diarrhea and pneumonia can save a major portion of under-five deaths.
He added that the Board is resolved to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through primary health care oriented interventions and maximizing access to health services that are needed by all Bayelsans.
The State Coordinator World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Edmond Egbe said the child health week will enable his organisation reach out to mothers and children in the rural areas.
Dr. Egbe thanked the First Lady and Health Commissioner for their effort, saying it is an indication that will give partners and other stakeholders the courage to visit Bayelsa State and to support Government activities.
Other development partners such as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in their goodwill messages expressed enthusiasm to contribute to the success of the programme and other health intervention programmes.