By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has expressed worries with the high rate of child and maternal mortality in the country, saying that nursing mothers and pregnant women should actively participate in efforts to reduce it.
Flagging off the first round of maternal newborn child health week, yesterday, at the Primary Health Centre, Ozuoba, Obio Akpor Local Government Area of the state, Governor Wike pleaded with pregnant women and nursing mothers to visit health centres near them for immunisation.
Wike, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, said government will continue to fund health programmes to eliminate unnecessary deaths among women and children, adding that his administration had recruited more health workers for the health centres and hospitals in the state.
… only 65% of pregnant women do anti-natal
Earlier, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Rivers Field Office, Mr. Welbroad Ngambi, said infant and maternal mortality rates were still very high in the country, adding that only about 65 percent of pregnant women participate in anti-natal care.
He noted that the foregoing simply implied that only about 50 percent have their babies in the hospitals.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs Wali Caroline, and the Rivers State Coordinator, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Imoh Ukpong, in their separate speeches, stressed the significance of the health week.
Director, Community Health Services, Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board, RSPHCMB, Dr. Isaac Opourum, in his sensiti-sation address, pleaded with women to visit health centres to be vaccinated against tetanus, adding that children of age five and below will also be given Vitamin A to protect them from blindness.