By Kemi Olatunde
In its resolve to reduce indices of child morbidity and mortality, the Ondo State government has kick-started a Save Our Children Initiative called “Agbomola.”
Encapsulated in this initiative are : Provision of life-saving Medical and Laboratory Equipment to all Primary Healthcare facilities in the State, training of health workers on the use of the equipments and strengthening of diagnostic capacity of the health workers to respond to minor and common causes of under five and pregnancy related morbidity and mortality in the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro revealed this during the training of about 120 Health Workers on Basic life-saving skills in Akure.
Adegbenro who recalled that about 200 Laboratory Technicians and Officers were trained a few days ago to improve the diagnostic capacity at the PHC level, commended the passion of the Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, at curbing childhood morbidity and mortality which according to him is evident in his painstaking and consistent effort in strengthening the Primary Healthcare Centres to enable them deliver on their mandate.
He recalled that the Governor had on August 20 this year commissioned Medical and Laboratory Equipment worth millions of naira and were distributed to all PHCs across the State and had directed that workers who will use the equipment should be trained to enable them perform optimally.
Speaking further, Adegbenro noted that mothers and relevant stakeholders at the community level would also be engaged through specific and targeted interventions to help in addressing the common causes of childhood mortality like acute respiratory diseases, Malaria, Measles, Malnutrition and Diarrhea.
Adegbenro charged PHC Coordinators of the 18 local government Areas to see it as a clarion call to be on top of the various stages of implementation and give maximum support to Arakunrin Akeredolu’s vision of a functional and qualitative Primary Healthcare system in the state.
He called on Development Partners, philanthropists and well meaning Nigerians to lend the government a helping hand in reducing the indices of childhood morbidity and mortality.
In his welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Board, Dr. Francis Akanbiemu said though, the State has achieved great reduction in maternal and child morbidity and mortality, it will not rest on its oars until it achieves zero tolerance.
The reduction according to him would be possible when the PHC is strengthened since it accounts for over 70 percent of caregivers in the state.
He implored parents and caregivers to seek medical attention at accredited health facilities where there are skilled hands in order to maximally enjoy the dividends of democracy.
The Lead Resource Person and Chief Medical Director, Mother and Child Hospital Akure, Dr. Banke Oluwafemi taught with practical demonstration on Basic lifesaving skills such as : Prevention of infection , Neonatal Resuscitation ,Strategies of sustaining the life of a child beyond the neonatal period among others.
Participants who spoke with The Hope such as PHC Coordinator, Akoko Southwest Local Government Area, Dr. Isaiah Oyetunde and the Deputy Director, Community Health Services, Mrs Florence Ogunmakinwa commended the state government for the exercise, saying “it is a right step in the right direction.”