Kogi State Government Reaffirms Determination to End Preventable Maternal, Child Deaths

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Kogi State Government on Monday in Lokoja, assured the people of the state of her determination to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths in the state.

Dr Saka Audu, the State Commissioner for Health gave the assurance in an interview with newsmen after a week long Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) free healthcare services for women and children under 5 years across the state.

The commissioner said that the maternal newborn and child health had taken center stage in the Kogi Health Sector since the advent of the administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello with numerous healthcare programmes.

According to Audu, the healthcare programmes introduced by the governor such as Health Care Plus, Bello Health Intervention and MNCHW, are delivering uninterrupted, free, high-impact and life-saving interventions to the door step of every Kogite.

”A week full of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health high-impact/Low-Cost interventions being implemented by Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA).

”Some of the interventions are Vit. A supplementation, pregnancy spacing/fertility regulation (family planning) with reliable contraception, deworming, penta vaccination and provision of free ORS for the treatment of diarrhea.

”Others are Exclusive Breastfeeding facilitation, focused ANC – Iron-Folate supplementation, intermittent malaria prevention with free SP for pregnant women, free HIV counseling and testing (HCT).

”Distribution of free Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) to pregnant, lactating women and under-five children, provide health education on key household practices, and birth registration, among others,” he said.

The commissioner stressed that Vit. A supplementation had shown to have preventive effects on all-cause and disease specific deaths in children under 5 years, potential to reduce all-cause neonatal mortality by 12 per cent, and reduces all-cause mortality by 25 per cent.

”In developing countries like ours, 15 per cent of maternal deaths would be averted if women aged between 15-49 years who want no more children, had access to reliable contraception.

”Deworming of children twice a year reduces anaemia and improve cognitive development.

”Penta vaccination has 17 per cent chances of reducing infant mortality (i.e about 30,000 child deaths would be averted yearly).

”Free distribution of ORT has the potential of reducing deaths due to diarrhea/related diseases by 50 per cent, which kill 1.2million children annually worldwide; and majority of these deaths occur in the first two years of life.

”Exclusive Breastfeeding that is usually taught durring the MNCHW can help reduce child mortality by 15 per cent. These are just highlights of how important these life saving interventions are,” Audu reiterated.

He restated that the governor had an uncommon determination to end preventable maternal and child deaths, adding that he had assented to the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) bill.

He said that the MPDSR Bill had now criminalised deliberate refusal to report maternal deaths and refusal to take action when such a case was reported.

”Offenders will be liable to 6 months imprisonment or N100,000 fine or both,” Audu said.

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