By Kemi Olatunde & Maria Famakinwa
The First Lady of Ondo State, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to ensure that the health of the people of the state is prioritized most especially women and children.
She also called on the state Ministry of Health to seek traditional rulers’ wives’ contributions in ensuring inclusive maternal and child health care delivery
She spoke while flagging off the Second Round of 2017 Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week( MNCHW) at the Mother and Child Hospital Akure last Friday.
Arabinrin Akeredolu who hinted that issues of health are close to her heart said; “The Ministry of Health should make use of untapped resources in the lives of wives of traditional rulers.
“They know how to talk to them and convince them.
“We are mobilising all women resources available including wives of traditional rulers and they should be engaged.
“I am using the opportunity to tell the ministry to make use of untapped resources you have in their lives because their position is respectful in our communities.
“This will improve the health of children and their mothers in our communities,
“The health of mothers and children is dear to my heart. As a mother and a grandmother, I feel concerned and I believe that the essence of this week is to ensure that mothers and children get all the health services they need.”
While thanking the Governor of the state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, and donor partners for providing fund and health facilities, Mrs. Akeredolu tasked parents to take advantage of the week to ensure that their children are immunized and improve on their nutrition in order to achieve a better Ondo State.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro re-affirmed the commitment of the present government led by Arakunrin Akeredolu to improve health services in the state.
According to him, the intervention programme which is the second round of 2017 MNCHW is going to deliver integrated health packages for children between 0 and 59 months of age and it is going to run between November 27th to 1st December, 2017.
Adegbenro noted that MNCHW is a week- long event organised to deliver an integrated package of services for improving maternal and child health survival.
He said that it would be run with routine services at all health facilities and designated points in the state and that it aimed at reaching all children under age of five years with routine immunization vaccine,Vitamin A supplement, deworming tablets and others.
” I urge parents and guardians to take their children and wards in the age group to the nearest public health facilities and designated points which shall commence on Nov. 27 till Dec. 1,” he said.
According to the commissioner, the state was rated among the best performed states with the average of 94 per cent coverage from the previous 15 rounds of MNCHW.
Adegbenro who noted that the achievement indicates strong commitment of the governor to maternal and child health programmes, however called on all to support the government in making the state health service delivery projects the best in the federation.
In her goodwill message, the representative of UNICEF, Ada Ezeogu thanked the state government for doing so much to ensure that Ondo State remains on top of the chart stressing that parents must also take advantage of the week to get the integrated health package put together for them
She admonished health workers to continue to sensitise mothers and continue to provide quality health care delivery.