Kogi govt set to end preventable maternal, child deaths

The Kogi state government has reiterated its determination to eradicate  preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths in the state.

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

Dr Audu said 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 him, 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 Vitamini 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 Vitamin 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 said. 

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 the MPDSR Bill has criminalised deliberate refusal to report maternal deaths and refusal to take action when such a case was reported. 

Offenders according to him would be liable to six months imprisonment or N100,000 fine or both.  

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