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Enugu Govt Partners UNICEF, Others To Tackle Bane Of Mother, Child Healthy Living


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As part of measure towards tackling challenges mitigating against healthy living for mothers  children, and Newborn babies such as poor nutrition, the  Enugu state government, in collaboration with  UNICEF,

and other key stakeholders is  offering  a free week long  medical services to residents  across the 17 Council areas of the state.

Recalled that a Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria had in 2023, revealed that 14.8 per cent of under-five-year-old children in Enugu State are Stunted, as a result of poor nutrition.

The group told newsmen in Enugu that the figure was contained in the National Demographic Health Survey conducted in 2018, adding that from the survey 6.1 per cent are underweight, while 2.5 per cent are wasted.

Frowning at the poor nutritional status of children in the  State,  CS-SUNN called on the government for improved funding of nutrition activities and promotion of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding of newborns in the state.

The organisation stated  that “this statistics translates to over 159,000 stunted children and over 24,000 wasted children in Enugu state.

Disturbed by the development , the state Ministry of Health, says the present administration under governor Peter Mbah’s watch is doing every thing within it’s powers to change the narrative.

Speaking Tuesday in Enugu during a media briefing on awareness creation on the forthcoming 1st round of 2024 Maternal Newborn and child Health Week (MNCHW), in the state scheduled to take place between 26th- 30, June, the state Commissioner for Health, professor Emmanuel Obi, said the present   Mbah  led government  is deeply committed on issues relating to health, especially as it affects mother and child.

He explained that the briefing Coordinated by the State Ministry of information and Communication in conjunction with the State Committee on food and Nutrition was aimed at partnering with the media in creating the needed awareness on the “1st Round of Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) 26th-30th June 2024.

The Commissioner explained that the objective of this Media session was to create the needed Public Awareness of the event as well as assess the level of government preparedness towards the hosting of this year’s event and the would be beneficiaries, adding that it would also provide the public with information on the nutrition sensitive/specific issues during the weeklong event.

While calling on the mothers to embrace the programme in their respective designated  government health facilities, across the 17 Council areas of the state, he reiterated  governor Mbah’s determination in reducing the state poverty index to zero percentage, pointing out that such desire could only  be realized when mothers are producing healthy children that would contribute to the growth of the state GDP and child mortality rate drastically reduced to the bestest minimum .

He said his Ministry determined to ensure that the state has a robust and impressive  health indices, stressing that the  poor nutritional status of the state is being tackled.

In her remark,  UNICEF Nutrition specialist  Enugu  field office,  Dr. Ngozi Onuoha,

noted  that the Intervention by the state government shows that the the Enugu state government under governor Mbah is interested in issues concerning  nutrition, especially amongst children and other health related  matters, just like

UNICEF does.

She however, assured that that international Children friendly donor Agency will continue to partner with the state government in getting things right..

Dr.  Onuoha, who disclosed that UNICEF has developed a multi sectoral Nutritional four  years plan for Enugu state, uged the media to assist  sensitize the women to embrace the programme for their own health benefits.

Also  speaking, Executive Secretary, Enugu State  primary Health Development Agency, Dr. Ifeyinwa  Ani- Osheku, said  nutrition matter is among  the key issues her  Agency promotes.

According to her,  the nutrition status of Enugu state  has not been encouraging as indicated in the  study of 2018 by the  nation’s Nutritional body, emphasising the need for all hands to be on deck by Stakeholders to change the narrative

She stated that any investment in Nutrition is a right step in the right direction, stressing that pmit provides key element that helps the child to fight all killer  infections and diseases

“So, we are going to use this one week to carry out a medical outreach in all the nook and crannies of the state, and will provide vitamin A to the children during the week, and also provide dewarming drugs to the children

She  revealed that Anemia is also a big health challenge that is part of Nutritional deficiency element in  Women, pointing out that lack of proper diet has done serious harm to children.

Mrs. Uzoamaka Okenwa, who represented   Wife of the State Governor, Nkechi Mbah, said the Enugu first family attaches much importance to issue of health, especially mother and child.

She said since inception,  the administration has done so much in transforming the state health sector.

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