The wife of the Governor of the State Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano has called on mothers and pregnant women in the state to take advantage of the ongoing New Born, Maternal and Child Health week which began August 9 – 12, 2016 to immunize themselves and their children against all childhood diseases. Mrs. Obiano made the call at the Flag-off the Health week at Abba Town Hall in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Represented by Senior Special Assistant to the Governor/Executive Director Anambra State Primary Health Care Agency, Dr. Mrs. Chioma Ezenyimulu, the wife of the governor and founder of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) an NGO that is actively engaged in the promotion of maternal and child health told the women to use the platform of the ongoing August meetings to sensitize concerned women in their communities to get immunized.
Said Mrs. Obiano:” I just want our women to take seriously our obligation as mothers by doing what is right to promote the health of our children and get them immunized during this health week. I am particularly happy that this is happening during the August meeting 2016, so I urge ndi Nne and ndi Anambra, to ensure that no parent misses this golden opportunity to get pregnant women and our children protected.”
She informed expectant mothers that she will soon start distribution Baby Delivery packs otherwise known as Mama Kits, stressing that her NGO’s goal is to ensure that all expectant mothers have safe delivery, and that children under five years are immunized against preventable diseases like Tuberculosis (TB), Measles, Pertussis, Tetanus, Poliomyelitis and Hepatitis B. etc.
Mrs. Obiano explained that one of the ways she supports the administration of her husband, Chief Willie Obiano, is through the programmes of her pet project, CAFÉ, which seeks sustainable empowerment for women, widows and the less privileged. She reiterated the assurances by health experts that the vaccines are safe and free and will protect children who get immunized against all vaccine preventable diseases stressing that “prevention is better than treatment.”
Apart from supporting programmes to improve the availability of and access to quality, preventive and primary health care for children and reproductive health care for all women; CAFE interventions in the health sector include promotion of maternal and child health care initiatives to reduce mother/child mortality, sponsorship of free surgeries for children born with congenital abnormality of cleft palate and cleft lips, training of Community Health Assistants to assist in the provision of primary health services in remote communities, etc.
Earlier, Hon Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabike also urged mothers to take advantage of the Federal Government and Donor Agencies programmes in support of new born, maternal and child health aimed reducing mortality of mothers and child.
Dr. Akabike said that the week long campaign is an integrated program of the Federal Ministry of Health in partnership with WHO, UNICEF aimed at addressing various factors that lead to increase incidence of pregnancy related maternal deaths, new born deaths and deaths of children before their 5th birth day.
He said explained that the Flag-off which takes place two times every year with opening ceremonies is later scaled down to the Local Government level at fixed post like all the Health Centres, primary schools etc. for increased awareness by women. The activities include; Immunization of children and pregnant mothers, Antenatal Care, Family planning and child spacing, malaria presentation and sharing of incentives like Soap, biscuits to encourage mothers to be bringing their children.
One of the beneficiaries Mrs. Chioma Nzeakor thanked the Anambra State Government and the Donor Agencies for extending lifesaving care to women and children by providing them with free immunization and other health materials; she also promised to take the message to her community.