6th June, 2011
Wife of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola has expressed confidence that a sustained commitment to the implementation of all the activities under the integrated, maternal, newborn and child health (IMNCH) strategy will in the no distant future result in significant improvement in safer process of procreation, enhance survival and the healthy growth of children.
Mrs. Fashola who made this known at the grand finale of the first round of this yearâ€™s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week in Lagos noted that the state governmentâ€™s commitment in the implementation of the strategy is significant because it brings the state closer to the attainment of the millennium development goals four and five which is geared towards reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Risikat Akiyode, Mrs. Fashola opined that even â€œthough the nationâ€™s ranking in the area of infant and child and maternal mortality rates is not something to be cheerful about, it is however heartwarming and reassuring that increasing attention is being devoted to the issue of child and maternal health at the national level especially through the adoption of the Lagos model of child week for implementation in all the states of the federationâ€.
Fashola urged mothers and caregivers to continue to put into practice all they have been taught during the week and to regularly make use of the health facilities that have been provided by the government for their well being stressing that well trained health personnel are on hand to attend to their health needs.
While commending the various development partners and staff of the Ministry of Health for a successful week, she called on all stakeholders not to relent on their oars but urged them to continue to be focused and committed so that the objective of the integrated maternal, newborn and child health strategy will be achieved.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Femi Olugbile stated that the revitalization of the primary health care system and the strengthening of their physical and management structures across all the 57 local government and local council development areas are the major strategy the state government is employing to improve the health of the citizenry.
Said he, â€œserious attention is being accorded human resource challenges in terms of employment of more health workers and improvement of their capacity through relevant trainings. The referral system is also being made more effective to ensure a continuum of care in a seamless manner.”
Olugbile noted that the local governments are being encouraged to increase their stakes in ownership of the PHC system stressing that community participation in decision making is now the rule rather than the exception in a bid to ensure the sustainability of health programmes and activities.
â€œNo doubt, the MNCH week provides a unique opportunity to complement the efforts of the state government in that it provides a veritable platform to improve the health-seeking behaviour of the whole family especially mothers and caregivers of children under five years of age to appropriate services available at the Primary Health Care centers and thus increase demand for these services,â€ he said.