Initiative to Improve Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Launched

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By Chika Onyesi

Dr. Zainab Bagudu (Center) Rep, First Lady, Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi, Rep Minister of Health, Mrs Minal Amin. Rep USAID at the launch

The wife of the President, Her Excellency, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has launched the Action-Nigeria Campaign, tagged ‘’ Albishirin Ku’’ which unites Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Malaria and Nutrition Social behaviour change intervention under one identity in Abuja.

The first lady who was represented by the wife of the Kebbi State Governor, Dr.  Zainab Bagudu disclosed that the Maternal and Child Health trajectory has experienced various strategies by numerous actors, which have contributed to a degree of improvement, bringing the country to its current status.

According to the first lady, as bad as our indices currently are, it could have been worse if these efforts have not gone in. However despites efforts  made by  our country, other Countries and the World at large, it is sad to note that our country seem not to be making Commensurate impact as we still standout negatively  on the global stage for poor Maternal and child health Sector.

Mr. Buhari stated that ‘’every day, we do hear stories of one woman  or one child dying of one issue or the other in a health facility or at home, from causes that are preventable if one person or the other had taken the right decision and acted  correctly. ‘’ All hands must be on deck towards solving the everyday health challenges claiming the lives of our women and children, she stressed.

She explained that there are some lapses on the part of service delivery, such as:  Poor Funding, Poor infrastructure and shortage of manpower. Also, some experts have outlined that some of the social norms, beliefs and practices have substantially influenced the health system.

She commended the USAID through the ‘Breakthrough Action’ Nigeria, other donors and the Development Partners in Promoting innovative social and behavioural change intervention in Nigeria.  She also applauded the Federal Ministry of Health for providing an oversight function and coordinating various health programmes in the country.

The Hon. Minister of Health,  Dr. Osagie Ehanire,  reiterated government’s commitment towards combating issues challenging the health of Nigeria Women, children and Adolescents.

The  Minister, represented by the Director,  Department of  Family Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, said the theme ‘Albishrin ku’ unifies the sets of social and behavior change interventions that focus on increasing the practice of the seventeen prioritized health behaviours relating to reproductive, malaria, maternal, Newborn and child health plus nutrition as well as provision of family planning services that would be implemented in partnership with State governments in three focal States namely: Bauchi, Kebbi and Sokoto.

He noted that the health indices in Nigeria as at 2013 was characterized with maternal mortality rate of 576 per 100,000 live births which is equivalent to 1 in 9 maternal deaths worldwide and about 40,000 maternal deaths annually, but said government is aware of the fact that there is still much work to be done in improving on the current health indices. However, he added that government is focused on domesticating and scaling up of global evidence-based and cost effective interventions.

 

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