BY SUNNY A. DAVID
Anambra State Health Commissioner, Dr. Vincent Okpala has assured of Government’s commitment toward providing adequate health facilities for women to access quality healthcare services during pregnancy and child birth.
Dr. Okpala said this during news briefing in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka to mark Safe Motherhood Day.
“Safe Motherhood Day is marked globally on April 11, but because of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the state decided to mark its own in May.”
He explained safe motherhood was ability of a mother to have safe, healthy pregnancy and child birth.
“The safe motherhood initiative was launched by World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international agencies in Nairobi, Kenya in 1987 and launched in Nigeria in September 1990.
“It is aimed at eradicating maternal mortality from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries. It ensures prenatal, intra-natal and postnatal services and supervision.
“Safe motherhood day initiative is helping to bring awareness about the importance of care during and after pregnancy.”
Dr. Okpala noted that to have safe motherhood, WHO recommended strategic interventions, which should be delivered through Primary Healthcare Centres (PHC) and these include family planning, antenatal care, safe delivery and essential obstetric care.
The Commissioner stressed that the government had engaged in strengthening community based healthcare workers and screening high risk pregnant women for referral to medical care.
“Government is also improving on referral level facilities to treat complicated cases and serve as back up to community-level care as well as developing an alarm transport system to serve as a link between community and referral care.
“We have engaged in active sensitisation and support to women of childbearing age.
“Primary Healthcare Centres in State functions to give adequate healthcare services to women in order to ensure safety during and after childbirth.
“The state has also contributed to making sure that women attend antenatal care, visit approved government and private healthcare facilities and have access to right medications and attend family planning classes.
“So, in order to improve the health indices, the State government renovated not less than 73 PHC’s and made it accessible to all,” the Commissioner said.
According to him, the use of maternal newborn and child health week is periodic and preventive routine services carried out in primary healthcare services.
“The week has shown internationally: improved Vitamin A intake, immunisation coverage of routine vaccines, use of long lasting insecticidal nets and other child survival interventions.”