July 20, 2024

Defore now, the mortality rate, especially infant and maternal mortality was rampant in the riverine communities in Bayelsa State. Unfortunately, most pregnant women in the rural areas resort to traditional birth attendants for delivery.

In a bid to prevent avoidable maternal deaths, stakeholders in the healthcare sector are collaborating in the advocacy and initiatives to fill up the gaps in women’s health care services.

However, community health workers and traditional birth attendants have also been advised to refer pregnant women to primary health centres for safe delivery of their children.

The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Health, Professor Seiyefa Brisibe, gave the advice at the flag-off ceremony of the first round of the 2024 Optimised Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week held in Amarata community, Yenagoa.

“I want to encourage all persons in the communities to be advocates of good health, work with the primary health care centres, the facilities in the wards should be functional, we do not want any woman to die out of giving birth to a child”, Brisibe stated.

In her address, the Bayelsa First Lady, Gloria Diri, called on all stakeholders in the health sector to work together to ensure that health care is a priority in the state, adding that every child should be given the needed vaccine to prevent diseases and deaths.

Represented by Hon Ekiomote Pasisei, she assured that the state government would provide the needed support for the success of the program in the state.

Also, the representative of UNICEF, Nigeria, Mrs Ada Ezeogwu, while commending the efforts of the state government for their commitment in ensuring quality health care in the state, pointed out that UNICEF is in the state to monitor and ensure that the intervention gets to the target group, which are the women and children, especially those in the grassroots.

The permanent decretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Oluwatoyin Azebi, noted that the ministry is committed to providing quality health care services to all citizens of the state and that the Optimized Maternal Newborn and Child Health is a critical step towards achieving the goals of the ministry.

“This week-long event will provide a range of services, including immunisation, nutrition screening, Vitamin A, supplementation and many more”, Dr Azebi said.

The executive secretary, Primary Health Care Board, Dr Williams Appah, and the state coordinator, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Mrs Mabel Ogeniba, reiterated the need for women to visit the health facilities and make use of the services available.



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