The World Health Organisation (WHO) has congratulated Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for the remarkable growth and success attained by the Primary Healthcare system in the state, in providing affordable and qualitative healthcare delivery at the grassroots.
Speaking during the flag-off of the rescheduled second round of 2017 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) in Enugu, the representative of the organisation in charge of Measles prevention, Mrs. Eunice Ajayi, expressed delight at Gov. Ugwuanyi’s commitment to quality healthcare delivery.
Mrs. Ajayi noted that the governor has been extremely supportive in terms of counterpart funding, saying: “From what I have seen so far, Enugu State is set to take the first position in the implementation of this campaign because all hands are on deck”.
While reiterating the agency’s commitment towards strengthening maternal and child healthcare delivery in Enugu, Mrs. Ajayi disclosed that she was in the state to “support and supervise the upcoming measles campaign” scheduled for March this year.
She reaffirmed the determination of WHO to ensure that all programmes are implemented according to the international standard for the overall interest of the beneficiaries.
Other development partners also commended the governor for his presence at the programme since the inception of his administration as well as contributions to quality healthcare delivery, especially with regard to the release of N12.4 million for the forthcoming measles campaign.
In his address, Gov. Ugwuanyi explained that the introduction of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health programme was prompted by the compelling need to address the unacceptably high maternal, newborn and child mortality rates in Nigeria and to explore the most effective ways to bring it under control.
The governor added that “it is also in line with the strategy adopted in 2010 by the National Council on Health (NCH) – the nation’s highest decision-making body on health matters – to combat the problem”.
He recalled that his administration at its inception made a commitment to the programme through the re-launch of the Free Maternal and Child Services in all public health facilities in the state, noting that the programme “is a week-long package of events aimed at delivering an integrated plan of promotional and preventive services that are both cost-effective and useful for improving maternal, newborn and child health in the society”.
“We are proud to report that the State Government successfully sustained the programme despite the current economic challenges and the impact of the programme is being felt in all corners of the state with records showing a progressive decline in the rate of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, in the state.
“The State was able to achieve 82 percent coverage of children under 5 years of age in the first round of the programme that ended in August last year and has set a target of 800,000 children or about 95 percent coverage in this second round.
“We have indeed earned national and international recognition as a mother and child-friendly State owing to the successful implementation of the Free Maternal and Child Health Care Programme.
“I want to thank all the medical health professionals and other health workers who have been working tirelessly to improve health care delivery especially as they relate to maternal and Child health in the state.
“I must also express our profound gratitude to our partners- National Primary Health Care Development Agency, UNICEF, WHO e.t.c for their continuing support and I use this occasion to reaffirm our commitment to remit counterpart funds for health programmes and to generally, provide a conducive environment for the successful implementation of such programmes in Enugu State.