From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
This week is set aside to mark the First Round of 2018 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). In Kano, it was flagged-off at Gobirawa Primary Health Care centre in Dala Local Government Area where the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje reiterated his determination to ensure timely and quality health care delivery to the masses.
Governor Ganduje, during the flag-off ceremony underscored the point that the MNCH Week would be effectively used to offer a range of high impact medication and intervention programmes to over 2.5 million under-five age and 500, 000 pregnant women across the 44 Local Government Areas in the state. He added that the interventions which is coming free-of-charge from the state government is aimed at increasing coverage levels of some important but preventive and curative health indicators that allow mothers and children to thrive and develop. He added that the event would also provide an opportunity to deliver health services to mothers, newborns and teens through the existing health system most of which are already enshrined in the administration’s free maternal, child health services available at both the primary and secondary levels of health care delivery in the state.
At a Press Conference to mark the event, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kabiru Ibrahim Getso explained that this round of MNCH Week will render various health care services to, including antenatal services and treatment of malaria prophylaxis for pregnant women. He added that there would be distribution of Vitamin A supplementation, de-worming of children, immunization of the under-five children, nutritional status screening, distribution of insecticide treated bed nets, birth registration, health education, including demonstration of key household practices such as hand washing, personal hygiene, exclusive breast feeding, complimentary feeding, among other health-conscious activities.
According to him, “Kano state government, in collaboration with partners, is spending about N98 million to make these services available free-of-charge. It is my hope that during the Week, men will allow their wives to visit the more than 1, 360 service centres across the state to access the services free-of-charge for the benefit of our women and children who are the future of our state.
“Kano state government which has been consistent in the implementation of all programmes aimed at improving the lives of our people has provided all the necessary support to ensure this campaign is a success. The state government has also demonstrated unalloyed commitment to the polio eradication and improvement in Routine Immunization, through sustained community mobilization, intensive supervision by the Taskforce under the able leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.”
Dr. Getso reaffirmed the Ganduje administration’s commitment to improving healthcare services in the state, adding that apart from the completion and equipping of the two world-class Specialist hospitals—–Muhammadu Buhari Specialist Hospital and Khalifa Sheikh Usually Rabid Pediatric Hospital, “over N6 billion worth of specialized equipment have been procured by the present administration over the last three years. This was would go a long way in advancing diagnostic a d curative services in the state and northern region as a whole.”
Dr. Getso also noted that, “the state government has been in the forefront in the area of free devices provision to expand coverage by making the services easily accessible. Over N4 billion worth of drugs and medical consumables were provided for the support of the free services.” The Commissioner added that, “to improve and provide sustainable means of healthcare financing in the drive towards Universal Health Coveragev(UHC) by expanding access to affordable and qualitative healthcare services, government established the Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KSCHMA) and Kano Health Trust Fund (KHETFUND) Agency. ”
Dr. Getso also used the occasion to clear the air over conflicting reports of Cholera death toll in the state, insisting that since January this year, only 28 people lost their lives to cholera in the state. Getso said the state government has put in place adeqautae measures to tackle the epidemic. According to him, already, Governor Ganduje has approved the sum of N32 million for prevention and control of Cholera in the state. The Commissioner further stated that the state MInistry of Health had commenced aggressive sensitization campaign on how to prevent cholera early this year.
He added that the Ministry had continued to, “ensure people are kept informed and kept abreast of the disease, several communication strategies were employed to reach out to the people. This include radio jingles, production of posters and handbills, community dialogues, sensitization within the affected communities, and partnering with other organizations to conduct mass awareness interventions.” Getso further urged people to, “drink and use safe water only by either boiling or treat it with chlorine product. If chlorine product is not available, one can treat water with the household bleach.”
He also advised residents to cook food well, keep food covered, thorough washing of vegetables and fruits before eating, regular washing of hands, keeping their environment clean at all times, among other things. According to him, the state government has also engaged in the training and re-training of health workers to ensure adequate management and control of the epidemic.