UNICEF urges reduction of maternal, child mortality with uptake of routine immunisation
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has stressed the need to increase effective investment in primary health care at the state level to reduce mortality rate and improve accessibility of healthcare services to most vulnerable in communities.
UNICEF Chief of Health, Eduardo Celedes, who spoke with The Guardian after a media dialogue in Lagos, at the weekend, said it had become a source of concern as about 82,000 women every year die from pregnancy-related causes.
He said that with only seven years away from 2030, which is the mark to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and with the number of doctors exiting the country, it will only require mobilised resources and government’s commitment to achieve the targets.
Celedes said: “The organisation’s call to action is focused on three main aspects: “The first is the need to increase effective investments in primary health care at the state level. The second is to get universal health coverage and expand the national health insurance as much as we can and to invest in the most vulnerable so they can have access to national health insurance. We are appealing to the state governments to allocate resources to that and donors as well.
“Our third call to action is to target the most vulnerable – the women who do not have access in the most inaccessible areas. To do that, we need to be really conversant with the data, and invest in getting to these people.”
Eduardo further noted that Nigeria is set to introduce a new vaccine, HPV, to prevent young girls from getting cervical cancer, saying that the vaccines will be in the country and ready to be delivered by November this year and will target at least 1.6 million girls in schools and as well three million girls out of school this year.