By Benson Michael
Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has cautioned citizens, especially pregnant women, nursing mothers and teenagers against patronizing quacks for their health care needs.
Speaking on Friday at the flag-off of 2020 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCAH) Week in Lagos which held at the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area Secretariat, Sanwo-Olu, particularly frowned at the rate at which pregnant women patronized quacks who claimed to be traditional birth attendants for their ante-natal and post-natal care needs.
Said she: “It is sad to note that a lot of our expectant mothers still patronize quacks who claim to be Traditional Birth Attendants, while illegally practicing orthodox medicine. These quacks do nothing but to add sorrow to our people by killing their newborns, pregnant teenage girls, under five children and even expectant mothers who patronize them for treatment, delivery and illegal termination of pregnancies.”
Sanwo-Olu appealed to citizens, community leaders and members of the Lagos State Traditional Medicine Board to intensify effort in exposing those involved in quackery practices in the community.
She stressed that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration would leave nothing to chance, especially in embarking on interventions that would promote health and provide good quality of care that is accessible to all citizens.
While flagging-off the 2020 MNCAH Week, the First Lady urged all pregnant women and care givers to take advantage of the free health services to be provided during the week which will commence from Monday, 5th to Friday, 9th October, 2020 across all the Primary Healthcare Centres and designated sites in the state.
She added that the week will be providing a high-impact but cost-effective health interventions to all under-five children, nursing mothers, pregnant women, all women and men within the reproductive age group.
According to her, services to be rendered during the week-long celebration include: Routine immunization as well as immunization for defaulters or zero dose cases, Vitamin A supplementation to at least 70% of children between 6-59 months, De-worming of 70% children between the ages of 12 to 59 months, Malnutrition screening for children of ages 6 to 59 months, counselling of care givers on Infant & Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and Food demonstration.
“The pregnant women, nursing mothers and women of child bearing age will also be provided with blood building drugs. There will also be counseling sessions for men and women on adequate nutrition, birth preparedness, healthy-lifestyle, personal hygiene, exclusive breast feeding, complementary feeding, hand washing and malaria prevention
“We shall also be distributing non-prescriptive family planning commodities as well as informative materials on key household and community practices such as personal hygiene, control of diarrhoea, proper waste disposal, adequate complementary feeding, hand washing, malaria prevention, family planning and exclusive breast feeding”, Sanwo-Olu explained.
Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi stated that the main objective of the 2020 Maternal, New born and Child Health (MMCAH) Week is to improve the health seeking behaviour of the citizens through the improvement of key household and community practices which will catapult the State towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 3 which are “No Hunger” and “Good Health” respectively.
Abayomi who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye noted that that all health facilities will opened for consultation and services and all under-five children, mothers, adolescent boys and girls, free of charge during this MNCAH week. He added that services at PHCs can be accessed from 8am to 2pm daily stressing that all flagship PHCs will be opened for 24 hours during and after the Week-long celebration.
“Our health facilities will be opened for consultation and we should allow all under-five children, mothers, adolescent boys and girls, as well as pregnant women visit any of our primary health facilities, to enjoy all the services that will be given free of charge during this Week”, he said.