The Enugu State Government says it is targeting at least two million women of child-bearing age and children under five in the ongoing Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week.
The activities of the state-wide event will be administered in all Primary Health Centres (PHCs).
The event would also run concurrently with the Modified Integrated Medical Outreach Programme in eight council areas of the state.
The Wife of the Governor, Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi, said at the formal opening of the week-long event at Uwani Primary Health Centre, Enugu on Monday, that she placed a high premium on the health of the people, especially women and children.
Ugwuanyi advised mothers to take the lessons from the two programmes home and ensure their neighbours knew and benefit from the free drugs and services during the programme in their localities.
She urged mothers to up their hygiene level in order to avoid contracting the COVID-19 pandemic.
She encouraged them to observe regular handwashing and use of face masks in public places.
“I want you to take the free and complete immunisation of your children very seriously in order to protect them from all known diseases, including COVID-19.
“Apart from immunisation, nursing mothers must eat right and always consume natural fruits, vegetables and homemade foods to keep the baby and entire family members healthy,’’ Ugwuanyi said.
Also, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, advised men to always encourage mothers on issues of healthcare.
Obi said that men should support their nursing wives and babies to access free and comprehensive healthcare services during the week.
He said that through the collaboration at home, the families and indeed the whole state would be able to attain optimal health.
“The state government has designed a plan to put in place a healthcare system that caters for all.
Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had given tremendous support to the activities of PHCs.
“Only in Enugu state, we have Type-3 PHC centres. Only here, we have well-motivated and massive PHC staff members and we have not missed any national programme,’’ Ugwu said.
He thanked the agency’s partners for their technical, drugs and consumable provision support all these years, which had made each agency’s programme highly successful.
“I must thank the amiable wife of our governor for her support to the agency through her Ugo Touch of Life Foundation that provided cartons of de-worming tablets, multivitamin, paracetamol, among other items,’’ he said.
In a goodwill message, Dr Ogechi Akanonu, who represented the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, thanked the state government and governor’s wife for supporting the hosting of the week.
“We thank mothers and families in Enugu state for believing in health intervention programmes meant to keep all members of the family healthy,’’ Akanonu said.
Dr Nwakaego Ibekwe, UNICEF representative, urged mothers to take advantage of the week to boost the health of all children around them, adding, “No child should be left out’’.