Ebonyi state provides free services to newborn, pregnant women

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The Ebonyi State Government, through the Better Health For Rural Women, Children and Internally-Displaced Persons Foundation (BERWO), provides a high cost-effective Maternal Newborn and Child Health services and intervention.

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The Wife of the state Governor, Mrs MaryMaudline Nwifuru and founder of BERWO, said her pet project was complimenting efforts of the state government to prioritise the well-being of children, women and the Internally- displaced persons.

The programme was organised by the state government, in collaboration with Helen Keller International, among other international partners.

Nwifuru said, during the November/December 2023 edition of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW), Campaign in Abakaliki, the exercise was free to all newborn, children and pregnant women.

According to her, the exercise which includes administration of vitamin A supplementation, deworming, nutritional assessment, screening for malnutrition and immunisation was geared towards reduction of maternal, child morbidity and mortalities.

“Allow mothers, caregivers and children to accept these services from healthcare providers at health posts, hospitals, schools, markets and churches,” Nwifuru advised.

She applauded partners, especially Hellen Keller International, Vitamin Angels, UNICEF and Breakthrough Action Nigeria for their technical and financial support to the state.

In his remarks, Mr Moses Ekuma, the state Commissioner for Health, revealed that, “About 0.03 per cent of 579,214 children between 12 and 59 months of age, screened for nutritional status, were severely malnourished.”

Ekuma who was represented by Mr Sabinus Nwibo, Special Assistant to the Governor on Primary Health, said the state of malnutrition is unacceptable as the government under Gov. Francis Nwifuru is not only health friendly but people centred.

He called on stakeholders, religious leaders, market women and other leaders to release young mothers for the week-long intervention to accept the services being provided.

Mr Benjamin Chima, a Nutrition Programme Officer at Hellen Keller International, assured that the state government and BERWO foundation of continuous support to ensure that no child suffers any form of diseases in the state.

He said that the programme is aimed at administering vitamin A, deworming children from 0 to 59 months of age to help curb factors responsible for child and maternal mortality in the state.

He revealed that the prevalent of malnutrition in the state was worrisome.

“We are here to tackle the challenges and also use this opportunity for improvement at the grassroots.

“It a bi-annual event and an integrated health campaign, low cost, promotive and preventive intervention programme,” Chima said.

Mrs Rabiyat Hassan, an official of Breakthrough Action, Nigeria, said it would continue to partner with the state to increase practice of priority behaviour, particularly around MCHI and other areas of focus.