… As LASG Restates Commitment to Improving Access to Maternal, Child Health Services
First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu today flawed off the Y2023 Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health Plus Nutrition (MNCAH+N) Week at the Badagry Local Government Secretariat of Lagos State.
The MNCAH+N Week is a vital health event in Lagos State that emphasises the importance of practising good health-seeking behaviours for the well-being of mothers, children, adolescents, and the whole family. Lagos State has been a pioneer in this initiative, commencing the programme in 2012 to provide essential healthcare services to under-five children, mothers, women of childbearing age, and men.
Addressing health stakeholders, community and religious leaders, women, youths and adolescents at the event, Dr. Sanwo-Olu highlighted the importance of addressing key health challenges in Lagos, such as the under-five mortality rate of 59 per 1000 live births and the Exclusive Breastfeeding rate of 58%.
She noted that during the MNCAH+N Week, healthcare providers will offer services including routine immunisation, vitamin A supplementation, deworming, growth monitoring, malnutrition screening, and managing malnourished children, among other health services.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by the Wife of the Chairman of Ojo LGA, Mrs. Abimbola Idowu, advised pregnant women against patronising quacks for antenatal, delivery, and post-natal health service needs, stressing that continued patronage of quacks under any guise poses danger to the health and well-being of pregnant women and their unborn children.
While appreciating and commending the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his relentless efforts towards improving the health sector and continually putting measures in place to ensure inclusive, prompt and effective healthcare services are provided for all residents, the First Lady disclosed that Governor Sanwo-Olu in response to the fuel subsidy removal declared free ante-natal delivery and post-natal services for all pregnant women in State Public Hospitals.
The First Lady emphasised the government’s zero tolerance for sexual and domestic violence, urging the community to work together to eradicate such crimes.
She also appealed to the Chairmen of the 57 LGAs and LCDAs in Lagos State to support the MNCAH+N week and give it the publicity it deserves in their respective areas.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi outlined the objectives of the programme, explaining that the MNCAH+N week which occurs twice a year across the State, focuses on ensuring the well-being and health of mothers, expectant mothers, newborn babies, children up to the age of five and teenagers.
Prof. Abayomi emphasised the importance of well-nourished mothers during pregnancy, noting that the nutrition of the mother directly affects the child’s development in the womb.
According to him, the Lagos State Government has established various programmes, infrastructure and manpower development to support healthy pregnancies and ensure that mothers and babies remain healthy.
The Commissioner stressed the significance of child spacing and responsible family planning to provide adequate resources and care for children. With a considerable portion of Lagosians being under the age of 30 to 35, he urged young adults to practise safe sex and responsible social interactions to avoid unwanted pregnancies and neglected children.
Abayomi also highlighted the government’s shift towards prevention rather than treatment and the deployment of experienced staff to strengthen community-level healthcare services, aiming to keep residents healthy and happy, thus contributing to society’s well-being.
Speaking in the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye disclosed that nutrition programmes are being implemented in Lagos State health facilities to ensure mothers are well-nourished during pregnancy and encourage exclusive breastfeeding to provide a balanced diet for growing children.
Dr. Ogboye reminded all about the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme tagged: “Ilera Eko” health scheme, mandated by federal law, and urged everyone to have it for themselves and their families.
In her remarks, the Chief of Lagos Field Office, UNICEF, Celine Lafoucriere commended the Lagos State Government’s unwavering commitment to children’s health and well-being, applauding the State Government for prioritising children’s health and consistently organising the biannual MNCAH week.