The Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board (RSPHCMB) begins the first round of the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week(MNCHW), today.
The Director, Community Health Services, Dr Isaac Opurum made this known at a sensitisation meeting of key stakeholders on MNCHW, last Friday in Port Harcourt.
Opurum called on care givers to partake in the week long exercise, which is expected to hold between Monday, June 10 to Friday, June 14, 2019 in all 23 local government areas of the state.
He said all interventions during the exercise was free of charge, saying it is for newborn, children ages 0-5 years, women of childbearing age, 15-49years, pregnant women and men.
According to him, “every woman within this one week would be attended to free of charge, the card is free, treatment is also free even if it’s delivery within this one week.
In her presentation, the MNCHW focal person, Dr Emem Jaja noted that there would be low cost health interventions, adding that there’ll be skilled birth attendant for pregnant women
“During this week we’ll be having lots of low cost interventions that’ll be made available to mothers, children, newborn in all our health centers, we’ll be having antenatal care, delivery by skilled birth attendant or pregnant women would be having their routine drugs given to them free, we also have SPs for intermittent treatment for prevention of malaria, Tetnus toxiod, long lasting insecticidal nets, for our children. We’ll be talking about birth registration, which is key for them.
On her part, the state Health Educator, Dr Doris Nria said MNCHW had faced challenges in the past observing that, “in the past we’ve had issues of rejection, for some people as a result of faith, because of their religion they were refusing to accept these interventions and some as a result of not having access, some wards don’t have health facility and so they find it difficult to come to those wards where there are health facilities”, among others.
Nria stated that measures had been taken to address these challenges and added that family planning services, HIV testing and counseling, health education to caregivers on exclusive breastfeeding, hand washing would also be available.
Furthermore, she said health workers will visit schools for deworming exercise and go for outreaches to communities, slums, Hard- to -Areas to reach the unreached.
She called on traditional rulers, religious groups, chairmen of LGAs, school proprietors, market leaders, NGOs, caregivers and the media to join the state government to mobilise their members to participate in laudable programme to reduce maternal and infant mortality.