No fewer than one million children aged between 10 and 12 are to benefit from the Maternal, New Born and Child Health Week inaugurated in Enugu State on Monday.
The Director of Public Health in the state, Dr Okechukwu Ossai told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Enugu that the exercise was to tackle issues of maternal and child health to scale down maternal and infant mortality in the state.
Ossai said that the week-long exercise commenced on Aug. 29 and would end on Sept. 3.
“The free lecture, enlightenment, medication, health consumables for pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants and children will be facilitated by the government and its health partners – UNICEF, WHO and others.
“It is primarily going to take place in all state government-owned health facilities in the urban and rural communities.
“We are going to teach pregnant women and nursing mothers the benefit of exclusive breastfeeding, how to wash their hands before breastfeeding and handling of food items for the household,’’ he said.
The director said that the women would also be taught how to prepare nutritious meals from local foodstuffs for the infant, children and households since most families were facing financial crush.
“We will also teach them child spacing and pregnancy prevention techniques to have the number of children they can cope with in this time of economic downturn.
“We have free medical checks, free cervical cancer test, free natal care, free insecticide treated mosquito nets, free anti-malaria drugs for pregnant women and free vitamin A for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
“For infants and children, we have free de-worming drugs, free tetanus injection, free insecticide treated mosquito nets and other vaccines for them,’’ he said.
Ossai said that the ministry had stocked enough medication, health consumables and trained health workers to take care of the programme.
“We have set our targets and we are grateful to the state government for its backing as well as our health partners; nothing is lacking and we believe that we will meet our targets,’’ he said.