The Edo State government has launched a Maternal New-Born and Child Health Week (MNCHW) with free services to mothers and pregnant women from November 19th – 23rd  with the Edo State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Office handing over a neonatal complex to the management of Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin City, to provide neonatal health care services for new-borns.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged mothers and pregnant women to take advantage of the Maternal New-born and Child Health Week (MNCHW) being observed and accessible Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) and other designated health facilities across the state to access free maternal health services.
“My administration has continued to support programmes aimed at enhancing the well-being of women and children because of my belief that women and children are the true wealth of any nation.”
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Izilien Asogun, said MNCHW was aimed at delivering an integrated high-impact package of preventive, promotive and curative health services to mothers and children. He listed services to be rendered during the week to include immunisation, deworming of infants, nutrition screening, birth registration, administration of Vitamin A supplement to children from six to 59 months and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and malaria testing.
The Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo, said the MNCHW is a bi-annual event designed to complement the routine services being rendered to mothers and children in PHCs in the state. Dr. Osifo also noted that the one-week programme holding from November 19th – 23rd  would also include health education on exclusive breastfeeding, environmental sanitation and handwashing.
According to Dr. David Osifo:
“This exercise is of immense importance as we continue the fight to reduce sickness and death in mothers and children under five years.”
The State Coordinator, World Health Organisation, (WHO), Ms. Faith Ireye, commended the state government’s efforts in improving PHCs’ services in the state stating that Edo state has been Polio-free since 2009 and has achieved reduction in mother and child diseases via improved immunisation activities.
The facilities in the neonatal complex handed to Stella Obasanjo Hospital include 10 infant incubators, five infant warmers, one infant resuscitator, 10 oxygen concentrators, 10 baby cot beds for mothers, among others.
The complex is expected to support the state’s effort to stem neonatal health complications, such as preterm deaths, infections, birth asphyxia, among others.
During the handing over of the complex to the management of the hospital, the Edo State Focal Person on SDGs, Mrs. Ifueko Alufohai, said:
“Goal 3 of the SDGs is aimed at reducing infant mortality and improving the healthcare of our babies in the state. If we must achieve the health component of the SDGs by the year 2030, we must put facilities of this nature in place to address health issues.”