By Kemi Olatunde
Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu – Akeredolu has flagged off the May 2023 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW)
Mrs. Akeredolu also declared that the state takes the lead in Nigeria both in Integrated Measles Campaign (IMC) and Outbreak Response (OR).
The exercise which began on Sunday is expected to run through five days.
Speaking at the flag off ceremony at the State Specialist Hospital, Oke – Aro, Akure, she disclosed that the Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA) came first in the Southwest in PHC leadership award which was anchored by the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, adding that the IMC and OR were conducted in November, 2022 and January 2023 respectively.
She commended Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his massive investment in the sector which according to her has helped in improving the health sector.
The First Lady who was represented by state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr (Mrs) Juliana Osadahun noted that the MNCHW has achieved a significant progress with the Vitamin A coverage of 107 percent in February 2022, adding that “exclusive breastfeeding rate increased from 23.8 percent to 51.5 percent in the recently concluded MICS 6 survey.
These achievements are as a result of the introduction of Accelerated Birth registeration.”
While expressing appreciation to partners for their support for the state she called on mothers and caregivers to make their children between 0 and 59 months available at health facilities and outreach points to obtain available interventions during the exercise.
In his welcome address, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Awolowo Ajaka explained that the exercise aimed at reaching eligible children with Routine Immunisation vaccines, Vitamin A supplements, deworming tablets, screening for malnutrition, birth registration and women of reproductive age with multivitamins, Sulphadoxine Pyrimethamine and Tetanus Diphtheria vaccine.
He explained that the MNCHW in accordance with the National Council on Health approval of bi-annual MNCH weeks has been implemented in the state since it’s inception in 2010.