By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT— GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, advised mothers in the state to resist placing their hope in “faith healing homes” and rely primarily on trained experts and relevant health facilities for safe delivery and nursing of their children.
The governor, who gave the advice at the flag-off of the 2nd round of the state’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week in Ogale, Eleme Local Government Area of the state, also warned against patronage of quacks and herbal practitioners by pregnant women.
Represented by the state Health Commissioner, Prof Chike Princewill, the governor noted that Rivers State under his administration has committed enormous resources to improving quality health services and that the goal of reducing maternal and child mortality will not be met if mothers do not take full advantage by patronising the public health institutions.
“The days when mothers die having birth or new born babies dying and we begin to blame it on evil and witches are over. There are health experts trained to manage the health infrastructure government is providing to ensure safe births and child care,” he said.
“Reports also abound of people who attract damaged kidneys or other life threatening health complications from drinking herbal concoctions made by quacks and herbal healers. This should no more be encouraged. Women, don’t go and sleep in faith healing homes. Go to hospitals and health centres and you will deliver healthy babies safely.”
Representatives of the UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, partnering the Rivers State Government on improved primary health care, also advised mothers on the occasion to take advantage of the various free services offered by the week long programme and to also visit public health institutions regularly to improve their health status and those of their children.
The free healthcare being offered by Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week include de-worming, immunisation, HIV AIDS testing and counseling, nutrition screening, family planning, antenatal and delivery with skilled birth attendants among others.