Anambra Collaborates With WHO, UNICEF, Holds Maiden Women Health Conference

By, Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka

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Anambra State Ministry of Health in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Tuesday, organized the first Women Health Conference at Professor Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre in Awka, the state capital.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Afam Obidike, the State Commissioner for Health, emphasized that the event was aimed at creating more awareness on common diseases that affect women, and how the participants can extend the training and teaching down to the women at community levels, especially during the annual women August meetings due to take off this week in various communities.

READ ALSO:Healthy living: Wife Of Anambra Governor Advocates Regular Exercises

Dr. Obidike urged women to continue using mosquito net in their various homes as it prevents mosquitoes and reduces the usage of malaria drugs. He called on Nigerians to always eat right and stop abusing food as food is medicine. He also appreciated the Governor’s wife, Mrs Nonye Soludo for initiating the health conference.

The guest speaker, Brian Adinma, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, who spoke on ‘Reproductive Health and Maternal Mortality,’ adviced couples to visit the hospital and run three tests after one year of childlessness.

“The following three tests points to rectifying why the couple is childless:
Does the woman ovulate? Is her fallopian tube open or not? Is the man’s sperm healthy? Men have 30% of the fault in childless marriage, women have 30%,both jointly have 30% and 10% is referred to as, unknown factor.”

Professor Adinma urged couples to always plan and prepare well before pregnancy as it is a project. “Couples should adopt family planning which is giving birth to the number of children they can cater for.They should have maximum of four children.”

He also commended the state government for investing in primary health care delivery, disclosing that Anambra State has one of the least records of maternal mortality in the country. Adinma lauded the state government for supporting the recent training of several health workers on modified life saving skills around the state.

During her presentation on breastfeeding, Dr Chioma Mbachu, noted that woman’s breast milk composition has 90% water, while the remaining 10% contain vitamins, proteins and antibodies that boost a child’s immune system.She told women that WHO fully supports breastfeeding and that is why August 1 to 7 is marked annually, as world breastfeeding week.

Dr Mbachu also urged pregnant mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months and then complementary feeds for at least two years.

She affirmed that colostrum,which is the breastmilk the baby gets in first few days after birth,is the first immunization which helps to fight infections.

On her part, the chairman of Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Anambra State chapter, Dr. Amaka Onubogu, who spoke on Self Breast Examination, stated that it is important for girls from age twenty , to check their breasts at least once in a month, regretting that deaths due to breast related ailments have continued to rise largely because of ignorance.
She emphasized that breast cancer is treatable if detected early.

Meanwhile,Dr.Simeon Onyemaechi,the Executive Secretary of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), stated that access to health insurance has made health services easier in Anambra State, with the agency’s coverage for treatment now expanded across over 300 health facilities.

Also speaking at the conference , Mrs Soludo urged women to always play the role of good listeners to their children as many societal ills can be averted when mothers listen and interact calmly with their children.

“Every woman must also learn to question the source of their children’s sudden wealth, imbibe respect for their husbands and control their temper. Mothers must go back to the drawing board as the society depends largely on them to correct all that is going wrong today in the society.”

Interacting with the women on her healthy living project, the governor’s wife affirmed that she is determined to make right health consciousness a household philosophy in Anambra State, and asked the women to embrace organic and healthy lifestyles, especially with what they consume. She called on Nigerians to avoid junk and canned foods and embrace natural foods for healthy living.

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