Akpan Etukudoh Asare
By 2021, the Cross River State government hopes to drastically reverse the current high rate of child mortality, the Director General of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Betta Edu has assured.
She said in her office in Calabar that this will be through interventions that target the primary health care community levels.
Edu informed that the state was now ready to launch its own emergency on maternal and child mortality in all communities and primary health centres.
It would be recalled that the wife of the president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari had launched the national version under the Project Future Assured involving wives of 36 state Governors.
It is called Emergency on Maternal and Child Mortality, through the NPHCDA Reproductive Maternal, Newborn and Child Health + Nutrition platform (RMNCH+N).
Edu said her agency was working with the health sector and the wife of the state Governor Dr. Linda Ayade who is said to be saddened about the extent of the child mortality rate in the state.
She also said that when the governor sets his mind on anything he would ensure it was accomplished.
“My Governor is totally committed to this. You can take his words to the bank; things must change”
The official launch is expected to come up on the second week of May while special lines have been dedicated to ensure communities and health workers can reach the RMNCH+N committee that is expected to meet daily, make calls and ask questions to hold people accountable for every death of a mother or child in any community.
Edu said there must be a sense of urgency to reverse this trend all across Nigeria given our knowledge that these deaths are occurring amongst our mothers, aunties, children, relatives, neighbours, community members and citizens.
“We need to break the culture of silence over these preventable deaths. Nigeria’s must speak true to power and hold both its leaders, community members and health workers accountable for their actions and inactions that have led to the continued rise in maternal and child mortality”.
She disclosed that one out of every 10 Children less than 5 years old that dies in the world is a Nigerian 1 out of every 8 Nigerian children die before having a chance to celebrate his or her 5th Birthday.