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C’River flags off Covid-19 mass vaccination, Maternal New Born and Child Health Week

C’River flags off Covid-19 mass vaccination, Maternal New Born and Child Health Week

…Targets Over a Million Beneficiaries in the Exercise

With the rising cases of maternal and child mortality and the need to curb the spread and mutation of the Covid-19 virus while pushing for herd immunity,  the Cross River State Government with support from the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and partners has launched the 2021 Second Round of the Maternal New Born and Child Health Week and the Covid-19 mass vaccination in the state to summount preventable deaths with the introduction of nutrient suppliments as a remedy for these preventable deaths.

Flagging off the exercise in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu said an estimate of 300,000 pregnant women and 900,000 children under the ages of 5 will benefit from the week long event which will also run concurrently with “Covid-19 Mass Vaccination Exercise” targeting eligible adults from the ages of 18 and above.

She said the government under the leadership of Senator (Prof) Ben Ayade is commited towards mass eradication of vaccine preventable deaths with an improved strategy on vaccination and mass mobilization of health workers to hard to reach areas.

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“Your Governor, my Governor and our Governor have ordered that we offer to all nursing mothers and pregnant women a full pack of services like this at no cost to ensure that we have healthy children and women all year round”.

She reminded the people of the new Covid-19 variant that has been recorded in some African countries, while encouraging Cross Riverians to take the COVID-19 vaccines, particularly as the state embarks on mass vaccination, because vaccines remain the most potent means of curbing the spread of Covid-19 virus and the mutation of virus.

Addressing the gathering made up of nursing mothers, pregnant women, community members as well as pupils of different schools in the Local Government Area, Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong said parents and caregivers should not deprive their children and that pregnant women should take advantage of the basket of services the MNCHW brings, as Calcium, Magnesium and potassium are some of the most essential diatery requirements for women during pregnancy and lactation period and many women in the rural areas are suffering from complications during pregnancy due to lack of these minerals.

Dr Ekpenyong noted that it was high time everyone rises up and act like ambassadors in respect to vaccination.

She said with the efforts of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency in raising awareness, reaching out to riverine communities and defying topographic challenges in mountainous communities, there is no surprise that all communities are now rising up to the occasion of vaccine acceptability and it’s evangelization.

Dr Ekpenyong further noted that inspite of the challenges faced globally as a result of Covid-19, no services in the state health care centres were abandoned or shortchanged, which was why there is drastic reduction in maternal and child mortality across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.

She reminded mothers, caregivers, religious and traditional leaders of the importance of accessing health facilities, noting that health workers in the state are committed to service as they posses all prerequisite knowledge.

She also emphasized on the need for Cross Riverians to take advantage of the mass vaccination as health workers will be at public places such as markets, tertiary institutions, places of worship etc to ensure easy access to the vaccine.

Some partners who spoke including representative of the World Health Organization, Mr Pella Umar, UNICEF VSL, Mr Ephraim Chukwu, state representative of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Mr Julius Idoko.

They expressed satisfaction with the state government on its role in combating vaccine preventable deaths and reaching out to interior villages with little or no access.

Other goodwill messages were from the representative of the Chairman of Odukpani Local Government Area delivered by the supervisor for health, Mr Edem Essien, Dr Dominic Elue from the Federal Ministry of Health, community and religious leaders.

Climax of the event was the administration of nutrient suppliments to pregnant women, deworming tablets to children under 5, distribution of insecticide treated nets, malaria drugs and vaccination of adults against Covid-19.

Written by Editor

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