Commissioner calls for drastic reduction of maternal, child death rates
The Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Dr Jide Idris, on Tuesday called on stakeholders to channel their efforts toward drastic reduction of maternal and child mortality rates in the state.
Idris, who made the call at a Town Hall Meeting on Maternal and Child Mortality Reduction Programme in Lagos, said that the interventions must also involve the community.
The commissioner said that the state baseline survey conducted in 2010 showed a maternal mortality rate of 555 per 100,000 live births.
According to him, continuous community sensitisation as a strategy is crucial if any appreciable improvement in health indices is to be noticed.
“It was suggested that lack of progress toward preventing these avoidable deaths occurred because education was provided only for women and not for the whole community.
“Also, because other barriers to healthcare such as the cost of getting to a facility persisted.
“There is, therefore, the urgent need to channel efforts toward the drastic reduction of these avoidable deaths.
“This can be achieved via universal access to quality healthcare services and provision of skilled attendance during pregnancy.
“Also, childbirth and post-natal period at all levels of the healthcare delivery system; and strengthening of the capacity of individuals, families and communities to improve maternal and neonatal health,’’ Idris said.
He said that the state would start the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme where individuals and their families would have access to quality healthcare as needed.
Idris said: “This aims to remove the financial burdens usually experienced at the point of accessing care.
“It also provides necessary healthcare coverage for all citizens of our great state.’’
Also, the Chairman, Surulere Local Government Area, Mr Tajudeen Ajide, said that his administration was ready to promote the health sector and ensure positive targets on health issues were met.
Ajide said that his administration had deployed all necessary resources to advance the sector, especially the primary healthcare services.
“The event is a great stride in the collective effort toward checkmating all health challenges affecting mothers and their new babies.
“This programme is an opportunity to have children from zero to 59 months to be vaccinated against vaccine preventable diseases of any nature,’’ the chairman said.
In his remarks, the Medical Officer, Akerele Primary Healthcare Centre, Surulere Local Government Area, Dr Kayode Odufuwa, said the programme was part of the strategies to reduce preventable deaths of children and mothers.
Odufuwa said that the programme sought to encourage birth spacing among mothers to enable them to care for themselves and their children.
“We know that many children are dying from preventable diseases and without community involvement; it is difficult because many people are not educated on what to do.
“So, this programme is an avenue to let people know that there are certain strategies to put in place, starting from their nutrition.
“Also, when a child is born, you exclusively breastfeed the child, who needs to be immunised.
“For mothers, after having the number of children they want, they can go for family planning.
“A lot of packages have been put in place in terms of immunisation of our children.
“These are some of the deliveries that have been put in place to reduce maternal and child mortality,’’ Odufuwa said.
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