Anambra, UNICEF, WHO partner to promote primary healthcare in S’East
Anambra State government is partnering with the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO) and National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHDA) to involve traditional rulers in the South East region in safeguarding and promoting primary healthcare delivery services in their domains.
Speaking during the First Quarterly Review Meeting of South East Traditional Rulership Committee on Primary Healthcare Delivery (PHC) in Awka, Anambra State, yesterday, Governor Chukwuma Soludo noted that as leaders in their various communities, the monarchs would be immensely helpful in cascading necessary messages on vulnerable nursing mothers, pregnant women and children.
Soludo, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Onyeka Ibezim, observed that the programme was in line with one of the pillars of his administration.
Also speaking, UNICEF’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Mrs. Cristiano Mulambo, charged the monarchs to mobilise their subjects to demand service from the health facilities in their communities and to hold the health authorities in their domains accountable for quality service delivery.
She noted that the percentage of children between one and two years who have received all the vaccines recommended for their age range rose from 34 to 58 per cent, adding that it was quite low.
The UNICEF Representative observed that the situation in Anambra State was particularly precarious because there was a decrease from 55 to 34 per cent within five years, pointing out that vaccines and facilities are available all year round in the state.
She urged monarchs to mobilise families, including fathers, to ensure their children are vaccinated in line with the directive of health workers in their communities.
Country Representative of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Walter Mulambo, however, disclosed that no type of polio virus was detected in the South-East.
“We want to sustain this status in the South East zone and the entirety of Nigeria and in Africa as a continent,” Mulambo added. In his remarks, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NPHDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the synergy with the monarchs was aimed at strengthening primary healthcare facilities and enhancing reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health services across the five states of the South East.
Shuaib, who was represented by the Director, Disease Control and Immunisation, Dr. Bassey Okposen Bassey, emphasised that traditional rulers occupy strategic positions to get the child-and-mother-related messages widely disseminated at the grassroots level, urging them to continue to champion the cause of primary healthcare delivery in their respective communities.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.