As part of effort to ensure that front line workers on community follow up and Leaders of Town Union are well dessiminated on essential family practices for Southern Senatorial District, a one day training was held at two separate venues, first at Conference Hall of Federal Secretariat Conference Hall and the second one at Dannic Hotels, Calabar.
The focus of the training was on Primary Health indicators like full immunization, Exclusive Breastfeeding, and attendance during Antenatal Care, sleeping inside insecticide treated nets (ITN), stopping Violence against Children and open defecation, Hygiene, Birth and Death Registration amongst others.
Speaking at both venues with same topic, the DG, Dr Betta Edu said routine immunization is one of the core interventions of Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade’s Administration. The state government and partners have fully supported each round of immunization to enable the health workers reach out to people in Hard to reach areas and every ward in the state. She advised the community mobilisers, health workers etc to always circulate information on time about immunization so families can get their wards prepared for it. During this days mothers antenatal services are also provided free of charge, she charged them to be ambassadors for maternal health in their communities, monitor pregnant women to go for ANC and deliver in health facilities, this will reduce maternal mortality. On Exclusive Breastfeeding, She appealed to mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, WHO and UNICEF have recommend Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life. According to her Exclusively breast feeding of the infant means receiving only breast milk without any additional food or drink, not even water and the mothers must also be willing to breastfeed the child day and night with no use of bottles, teats or pacifiers . She noted that breast milk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first few months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life. It give immunity, encourage bonding, and reduces the risk of breast cancer for the mother
“Sleeping inside insecticide treated nets have not just become our concern as a state but also the concern of Her Excellency, Dr Linda Ayade who is so passionate about the health of mothers and children in the state. It is on that note she has taken the lead in malaria information dissemination and provision of treated nets across the state through her pet foundation. We have gotten so many support in this direction the latest from Etisalat to help intensify our effort in the fight against Malaria. We have also been preaching against violence against children and women across every LGA we have visited during NEEDS ASSESSMENT TOUR OF HEALTH FACILITIES AND TOWN HALL MEETINGs. This act must stop because it does not position the state in a good light.
Finally she said the state campaign on hygiene and open defecation will not end until Cross River is certified free of it. Only recently that Obanliku Local Government Area was rated an open defecation free LGA in the whole of Africa by UNICEF. Dr Edu said effort have been put in place to tackle data management at health facilities and also expose those in charge to capacity building which will aid their record keeping ( birth and death registration inclusive).
The State Director of National Orientation Agency Cross River State, Mrs Florence Osang earlier in her remarks said training will also be organize for front line health workers in other senatorial districts why eulozing the DG, Dr Betta Edu on her achievement and stride with Primary Healthcare Development Agency within one year. ” We as NOA will continue promoting health across the state as we believed in prevention not cure. We would continue preaching the Change begins with Me message to Nigerians until our traditional way of thinking and mindset is changed for better said Mrs Osang.
The training was highly attended by front line health workers, Town Union leaders and various Heads of NOA in each LGAs.