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Borno Government, Alive & Thrive, other health partners flag off campaign on MNCHW in 26 LGAs

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BORNO State Government through the Ministry of Health and Primary Health Care Development Agency in collaboration with Alive & Thrive (Fhi360), UNICEF and other development partners have flagged off Campaign on Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Week (MNCHW), with presentation of maternal kits to thousands of women/parents.

The campaign which is bi-annual would last for five days across 26 local government areas and 488 sites to improve the standard of living of underage -children, deworming, Vitamin A supplementation, and nutritional screening; maternal nutrition and complementary services in antenatal care; as well as health promotion benefits.

Declaring the weeklong programme opened at Jiddari/Polo Primary Health Care in Jere Local Government Area of Maiduguri metropolis on Monday, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mohammed Ghuluze, said, the MNCHW is dedicated to deliver an integrated package of highly cost-effective MNCH services/interventions.

These interventions according to Ghuluze; are those likely to immediately demonstrate impact by significantly increasing coverage levels of core preventive and curative
interventions that can improve the health of mothers and children, inline with Governor Babagana Zulum’s vision in transforming the health sector in the state.

“The week was introduced in Nigeria and in Borno specifically, amongst other measures, as a priority and strategic action to accelerate the reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health, en-route to achieving the 4th and 5th Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.

“MNCHW serves as a complementary approach that does not replace, but rather, leverages existing routine activities to provide enhanced service delivery, which consists of three distinct phases: the pre-implementation and planning phase, the implementation phase, and the post-implementation phase.

“During this week, several crucial interventions will be carried out to improve maternal and child health outcomes. These interventions include: Vitamin A Supplementation, Deworming, Antenatal Care (ANC) and HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC).

“Others include; Health Promotion (KHHP), MUAC Screening, Distribution of Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) and Long-Lasting
Insecticidal Nets (LLIN) for pregnant women, Iron Folate for pregnant women, Immunization, Birth Registration and Child Spacing.” The Permanent Secretary said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Director, Borno State Primary Health Care Development Agency, BoSPHCDA, Professor Mohammed Arab, said, these activities will be conducted in 26
Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Borno State in 488 sites, specifically at the health facility and fixed post levels.

Arab commended all development partners, especially Alive & Thrive (Fhi360), UNICEF, WHO and traditional rulers for their support towards uplifting the health sector in the state.

He noted that “Vitamin A Supplementation alone has been shown to have significant benefits in reducing under-five mortality by up to 34%. It also offers protection to children
from various diseases such as measles (up to 54%), malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia (up to 44%).

“In addition to combating worm infestations, deworming
has the added advantage of reducing the likelihood of other infections.” Arab stated.

Accordingly, he said, Antenatal Care (ANC) Services play a crucial role in providing pregnant women with essential supplementation, including multivitamins, tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccines, and Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP).

Arab further said, “these programme will promotes key household practices, such as exclusive and complementary feeding, adding that the use of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINS) can have a significant impact on reducing malaria-related illnesses and deaths, as well as lowering the overall
under-five mortality rate by up to 25%, by ensuring that up to 80% of individuals sleep under LLINS.

“Lastly, undernutrition is a major contributor to a significant
number of deaths, with over 60% of diarrhea deaths, 57% of malaria deaths, and 52% of pneumonia deaths being attributed to undernutrition.” He stressed.

In his goodwill message, Borno State Coordinator Alive & Thrive (Fhi360), Dr. Bashaar Abdul-Baki, said, as key partner to Borno state’s Health system, his organization will continue to offer its support to ensure optimal quality of health services and improved geographical coverage across the state.

Also contributing, the Shehu of Borno, Dr. Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin Elkanemi, represented but his Focal Person on Health to the Eight (8) Emirates, who is the District Head of Damboa, Alhaji Zanna Lawan Maina urged women and parents to always avail themselves to numerous health opportunities provided by the state government and other partners have access to heathcare services and development in the state

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