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Taraba State Governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku has called on husbands to allow their wives and children to access the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week MNCHW.

Governor Darius Ishaku made the appeal today at the Specialist Hospital Jalingo, while flagging off a week long activity aimed at providing integrated high impact health services across the State

Gov. Ishaku described the high infant and Maternal Morbidity and mortality rate in Nigeria as unacceptable and commended the National Council of Health NCH for the launch of the initiative in 2009 as a biannual campaign programme, but lamented that there was delay in its take off in the State.

He stated that, the programme is meant to reach all the 168 political wards of the State with two health facilities per ward to provide the needed services, adding that, the services to be provided are, immunization against child killer diseases, nutritional assessment of children to check malnutrition, Vitamin ‘A’ supplement to boost immunity and improved vision  for Children,  deworming as well as comprehensive screening for pregnant women to ensure sound and healthy delivery.

The Taraba State Governor maintained that his administration is passionate about providing for the health needs of its citizenry, asserting that, no stone would be left unturned to ensure the well-being of mothers and children who are the most vulnerable, stressing that his Rescue Mission has a special place for children and mothers to ensure that none dies from any of the preventable diseases.

He said his administration embarked on the provision of potable drinking water across the State basically to curb diseases that are contracted from water.

On the renovation of the three General Hospitals in the three Senatorial Zones, he said that of  Wukari is about 50% completed, while that of Bambur in Karim Lamido will commence after that of Wukari is completed and later that of Gembu Hospital in Sardauna LGA.

He explained that, the renovations are being done in phases because of the lean financial resources at the disposal of the State Government.

Accordingly, Darius Ishaku said the School of Nursing and Midwifery has been reactivated and accreditation has been successful, saying very soon, the school will start churning out graduates from the school after 10 years of inactivity.

160 nurses have been employed to beef up health care delivery services in the State, among them were those that had their retirement period extended to further fortify the health sector.

He further revealed that the equipment at the School of Health Technology Takum have been upgraded and the donation of a Referral Hospital for pregnant women by T.Y Danjuma Foundation is in progress, stressing that, the health sector has been  touched by his Rescue Mission, rescuing people of the State from preventable diseases and untimely death.

The Governor encouraged women to ensure that they and their children avail themselves the opportunity by visiting any of the designated health facility nearest to them, noting that Government cannot afford to compromise the health of women and children in in the State.

Earlier in his speech, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Innocent Vakkai said the Maternal Neonatal and Child Health Week is a week long programme intended to provide packages of high impact that is cost effective geared towards addressing  unwanted mobility and mortality particularly, among children below the ages of five years and pregnant mothers.

Dr Vakkai stated that, this categories of persons are most vulnerable in the society because of low immunity in their body systems, describing the situation in the North East as worrisome because of the induced conflict that engulfed the region.

He further enumerated other factors to include, ignorance, cultural and religious belief among others.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Musa Obadiah, explained that, NCH in 2009 mandated all the States in the Federation to conduct a biannual Campaign style programme primarily designed to deliver key child and maternal health interventions to bridge the gap of our poor health indicators in the region with a view to revitalising health care systems.

Dr. Obadiah mentioned that during the week long activity, drugs such as Tetanus Toxoid vaccine, PENTA, PCV, OPV, deworming with Albendazole, vitamins A, nutritional screening and prevention of malaria in pregnancy with sulphadoxine pyrimethamine adding that, other interventions have been added which includes prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS in collaboration with Taraba Aids Control Agency TACA.

Other interventions during this week’s activity as revealed by the Permanent Secretary are birth registration in collaboration with National Population Commission and key households practice or home hygiene, saying all the interventions are free and called on people of the State to accessed it in the health facility closest to them.

In his speech, the Chairman Governing Board of Taraba State Primary Health Care Development Agency, TSPHCDA, who doubles as the PDP Chairman, Hon. Victor Bala Kona appreciated the Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku for his desire to eliminate all forms of preventable and infectious diseases among women and children of the State.

Victor Bala praised the Governor’s contribution particularly, in repositioning the TSPHCDA, which included the provision of modern office accommodation, settling of all counterpart funds and the upgrading of other health facilities across the State.

The TSPHCDA Board Chairman revealed that Taraba State has also keyed into the programme, “Save One Million Lives” and it would soon be launched in Ardo Kola Local Government Area and used the opportunity to call on Local Government Chairmen, traditional rulers and stakeholders to support the programme when it is launched.

He however solicited the support of the entire people of the State to rally round the present administration so that it can provide sufficient dividends of democracy across board to all and sundry, saying that, the present administration is poised to take health care delivery services to greater height.

In their collective speech, presented by Dr. Umar Faruk of the World Health Organisation, WHO, the development partners, appreciated the State Government for the support he has been rendering to the partners and assured him of more positive working relationship.

He encouraged the people of the State to avail themselves of this unique opportunity courtesy of the State Governor, Arc. Darius Ishaku.

The event was rounded up with the Governor administering drugs to women and children to kick start the week long programme