…go to hospitals, not spiritual houses – Dr Ekpenyong
By Ike Uchechukwu
Cross River State governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has vowed that no child will again die of preventable childhood disease in the state under his watch.
Ayade gave the assurance on Monday in Calabar while flagging off the modified integrated medical outreach programme (m–IMOP) at the conference hall of Calabar Municipality Council.
Ayade who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, averred that with the flag-off exercise, maternal/infant mortality which had always given state government serious challenges would now become a thing of the past.
“We are taking healthcare services to the books and crannies and we are making sure that all our children and pregnant women get good medical attention no matter where they are in the 196 wards across the state.
“No child will again die of childhood preventable disease, because we are taking care of the major challenges, which is mainly getting to the hard to reach areas, sensitization of pregnant woman amongst other efforts, he said.
Speaking earlier, the Director-General, State Primary Health Care Agency Dr. Janet Ekpeyong, stated that the agency’s preoccupation is to ensure that infant/maternal mortality is completely erased in the state.
Ekpeyong stressed that the agency’s target is to reach out to about 800,000 infants, pregnant and vulnerable women in hard to reach areas in the state.
She said that state the program would cover beneficiaries in 10 LGAs of Cross River State while warning pregnant women to use medical facilities instead of “prayer houses” or “spiritual homes”
Her words: “As at last quota of 2019, there was an assessment that was conducted in so many states in Nigeria. It was discovered that there were some LGAs that were not doing so well, in terms of some health indicators.
“It became necessary for us to do something that will improve on those identified gaps and the modified integrated medical outreach programme is like a high impact intervention unimmunized children are immunized.
“Most of our pregnant women can go to health facilities and access antenatal health care facility. Children who are malnourished can be attended to, with many services available.
“I want to also let our pregnant women know that it is safer to use the hospitals and other medical facilities instead of going to give birth at “spiritual homes” and “prayer houses” ,” she said.