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Bayelsa unveils optimised maternal newborn, child health week

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As part of efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and ensure Universal Health Coverage, the Bayelsa State Government unveiled the Optimised Maternal Newborn and Child Health week.

The programme, being organised in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), would ensure improved maternal and child health across the state.

It would also ensure reduction and prevention of maternal and child mortality arising from preventable diseases and complications during pregnancy.

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Speaking at the opening ceremony, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Newton Igwele, said the state was channeling resources to high-impact interventions like the Optimised Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week where women and children’s health would be prioritised.

“Good maternal healthcare and nutrition are important contributors to child survival. Maternal infections and other poor conditions often contribute to cases of neonatal morbidity and mortality, including stillbirths, neonatal deaths and other adverse clinical outcomes.

“Considering the fact that most maternal and child deaths are preventable, using current knowledge, mortality and morbidities are unacceptably high.

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“Most maternal deaths occur during labour, delivery and the immediate postpartum period, with obstetric hemorrhage being the main medical cause of death,” he stated.

He further explained that hypertensive diseases, infections, obstructed labour and abortion-related complications were the other causes of maternal mortality.

“Unquestionably, appropriate interventions and appropriate health resources in Bayelsa State have significant potential for reducing maternal and child mortalities,” he added.

Unveiling the programme, wife of the governor, Mrs. Gloria Diri, said it would enable health workers to embark on growth monitoring and screening for malnutrition and refer identified cases of acute malnutrition in six to 59 months old children to healthcare services.

It would also help them to distribute and promote the use of long lasting insecticide treated nets for under five year-old children, as well as pregnant women and breast feeding mothers.

“It will mobilise 0-11 month-old children for routine immunisation according to the national policy, provide family planning, spacing information and services. It will also provide information and educate communities on best practices for safe motherhood, new births and child survival,” she said.

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Newton IgweleUNICEFWHO
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