Mrs Betty Ayanwu-Akeredolu, wife of Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, has called for the involvement of wives of traditional rulers in ensuring inclusive maternal and child healthcare delivery.
Ayanwu-Akeredolu made the call on Friday while flagging off the second round of the 2017 Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) in Akure.
She said: “The Ministry of Health should make use of the untapped resources in the lives of wives of our traditional rulers in improving maternal and child health.
“We are mobilising all available women resources, including wives of our traditional rulers, because their position is respectful in our communities.
“This will help in improving the health of children and their mothers in our communities,” Ayanwu-Akeredolu said.
The governor’s wife said she was glad that issues relating to maternal and child health services were being implemented and taken to the grassroots.
Also, Dr Wahab Adegbenro, the state Commissioner for Health, said that 15 rounds of the programme had been implemented in all the 36 states of federation since its inception in 2010.
Adegbenro noted that MNCHW was a week-long event to deliver an integrated package of services known to be highly cost-effective for improving maternal and child health.
He said that the programme was aim at reaching all children under the age of five years with routine immunisation vaccine, Vitamin A supplement, de-worming tablets, among others.
“I urge parents and guardians to take their children and wards under the age group to the nearest public health facilities and designated points as from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1,” Adegbenro said.
The commissioner said that the state was rated among the best performed states with the average of 94 per cent coverage from the previous 15 rounds of MNCHW.
According to him, the achievement indicated strong commitment of the governor to maternal and child health programmes.
In her remarks, Mrs Ada Ezeogwu, the UNICEF Representative, said that the organisation was happy for the programme and its positive implication in the lives of children and their mothers.
Ezeogwu added that the programme would save lives as well as encourage mothers to often come to health facilities for their complaints.
She admonished health workers to continue to sensitise mothers and continue to provide quality healthcare delivery.
The UNICEF representative appreciated the state government for always having a high coverage of the programme across the state.
“The last round of the programme was fully financed by the state government and UNICEF only contributed supply.
“I urge the state government to keep on fighting for effective healthcare of our children.