By Stephen Adeleye.
The Kogi Government says it has focused attention on ‘hard-to-reach’ communities across the state, to ensure full implementation of all stages of the second round of the 2018 Maternal, Newborn, Child Health Week (MNCHW).
Dr Abubarka Yakubu, Executive Director, Kogi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KSPHCDA), made the disclosure on Wednesday in Lokoja at the inauguration ceremony of the week-long free healthcare services for women and children in the state.
“We have done well in the area of measles vaccination; we scored 67.7 per cent in mosquito nets distribution and we are beefing up coverage and strategy for utilisation of mosquito nets during this MNCH Week.
“The percentage of women who had live births with skilled attendants is put at 73.1 per cent, which is excellent, but we are not resting on our oars to double these figures.
“That is why we are focusing our attention on the hard- to- reach areas in all the 21 local government areas (LGAs) in the state during this second phase of the MNCH Week,’’ Yakubu said.
Yakubu said that the agency , under the administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello, had recorded unprecedented achievements that will remain a reference point in the history of primary healthcare delivery in the state.
According to him, the Primary Health Care Amendment Bill recently passed by the Kogi House of Assembly will be signed into law by the governor very soon.
“It will be a game changer in Kogi primary healthcare sector.’’
He said that the bill will ensure that Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR), which is a major requirement to improving partnership with the agency at National level (NPHCDA)and other multi-lateral agencies is achieved.
In his remarks, Gov. Yahaya Bello, commended the Development Partners who have been working tirelessly in conjunction with the agency to improve Kogi health indices.
Bello, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu said that the main objective of MNCHW is to reduce morbidity and mortality in mothers and children less than 5 years of age.
He said that it will also ensure access by mothers and children of 0-59 months to Routine Immunisation.
“The benefits include provision of Vit. A supplement, De-worming, Family Planning, Ante-natal Care services, distribution of drugs and Long Lasting Insecticide treated Nets (LLITN), HIV testing and counseling,’’ Bello said.
The governor appealed to religious and traditional leaders, media organisations, NGOs, and groups to sensitise and mobilise people to avail themselves of the services of MNCH Week which is being brought to their door step.
The wife of the governor, Mrs Rashida Bello, who flagged off the program, said that improvement of health indices remains the main agenda of the Gov. Yahaya Bello New Direction Government.
She said she was concerned with the grassroots and the vulnerable members of the community: “The agency is living up to its expectation and we urge it to continue.
“My medical outreach foundation is complementing the effort of the State Government and the agencies in improving access to health services in our rural communities.
“Just recently, over 3000 persons benefited from the foundation’s health outreach in Kogi Central and East senatorial districts.’’
She urged pregnant women, mothers and children to come out en masse and benefit from the available commodities during the week-long health programmes.
Also, Dr Zakari Usman, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Kogi Hospitals Management Boards (KSHMB), said the MNCH week provides a good platform for the delivery of life saving interventions to people ,particularly communities in under-served and hard to reach areas.