The Bayelsa State Government has reiterated it commitment to formulate appropriate policies and strategies geared towards attainment of universal health coverage for all Bayelsans.
The First Lady of Bayelsa State, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Diri made the commitment at the flag- off of the 2021 Ist Round Optimized Maternal, Newborn And Child Health Week, OMNCHW in Yenagoa.
According to Dr. Diri, to further ensure the realization of the universal health coverage, prevent mortality and mobility of disease as well as attainment of the sustainable development goals target of reducing maternal mortality deaths of newborns and children under 5 years, there is the need to strengthen the MNCW week.
She said that the Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child, Adolescent And Nutrition, RMNCAH+N is being modified to Optimized Maternal Newborn Child Health Week, OMNCAHW in order to ensure a more holistic approach to implementation and improve services through an integrated and equitable approach that translate into a strengthened rountine health system.
The First Lady noted that what the OMNCHW intend to achieve is to increase population coverage of needed low cost, high impact interventions, thereby contribute to reduction of morbidly and mortality in mothers, newborn and children less than age 5 in Bayelsa State.
Dr. Diri highlighted the importance of the OMNCHW to include increase awareness on Health Seeking Behavior and generate demand for routine services, to improve the capacity of health workers through supportive suppervsion of health workers in at least 80% of targeted PHC facilities and training of community health volunteers and to mobilize commitment to MNCW programs and health system strengthening from government and other stakeholders, assured of her full support towards the implementation of the Optimised Maternal Newborn Child And Health Week in the state.
She said: ” As a Government we are ready to create and adopt good strategies to improve our RMNCAH+ N indices, achieve the sustainable development goals and ensure universal health coverage for all Bayelsans.
” I want to personally assure of my full support towards the implementation of the Optimised Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week in Bayelsa State.”
In his remarks, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Igwelle noted that majority of maternal deaths occur during labour, delivery and the immediate postpartum period, with obstetrics hemorrhage being the main medical cause of deaths, however said good maternal health care and nutrition are important contributors to child survival, maternal infections and other unhealthy conditions that contribute to indices of neonatal mobidity and mortality.
Igwelle said many factors are responsible for maternal and newborn deaths, adding that one of the most effective means of reducing this burden is the provision of effective preventive measures as well as early treatments provided to women and newborns, at their homes or at the primary health care centres.
He stated that appropriate interventions alongside appropriate health resources have significant potential of reducing the burden of maternal and child mortalities, hence the state government is channeling its resources into high impact interventions like the Optimised Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week where our women and children will have access to packages of high impact interventions for free.
The commissioner of health while expressing his commitment towards strengthening primary health care interventions in the state, noted that this is a major platform towards achieving universal health coverage which is better health for all Bayelsans.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Martin’s Bekesu noted that the main objective of the Optimised MNCH Week is to increase health awareness, improve Health Seeking Behavior and generate demand for routine PHC services, adding during the OMNCH Week both the PHC facilities and outreach sessions, RMNCAH+N services will be properly carried out to avert maternal mortalities and prevent neonatal deaths.
Dr. Bekesu stated that the burden of maternal, neonatal and child mortalities in Bayelsa State is heavily concerntrated in hard to react areas and within the undeserved population with its negative consequences considering existing simple, cost effective and low technology interventions, maintaining that the OMNCH Week is a perfect avenue to link our communities with health facilities as every effort will be made to sustain the synergy even after the OMNCH Week.
He called on well-meaning Bayelsans and the First Lady of Bayelsa State, Dr. Mrs. Gloria Diri to see the program as a priority area for their buy-in.