Akpan Etukudoh Asare
The Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Agency, Dr. Edu has said that the state is targeting as many as 545,000 young as well as pregnant women to caution them against the dangers of neonatal tetanus and unhygienic birth delivery.
She disclosed this when the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong launched the second phase of the Maternal Neonatal Tetanus Elimination Campaign in the state.
The campaign was launched at Akamkpa in the southern senatorial district of the state.
Edu said Nigeria is one of the 27 countries that make up the 90% of death from neonatal tetanus globally, noting that the tetanus campaign was aimed at protecting women of childbearing age, pregnant women and their expected children from tetanus infection.
According to her tetanus cannot be eradicated but can only be eliminated and as such the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has taken it upon himself to work with National Primary Healthcare, UNICEF and WHO to ensure that the state protects over 545,000 women and millions of unborn babies from tetanus.
She insisted that tetanus continues to thrive because of poor ANC attendance, high rate of delivery with TBAs and other unskilled birth attendants who use old contaminated razor blades or unsterilised objects to cut the umbilical cord; warning that the state will not tolerate such insolence henceforth from unskilled birth attendance.
Earlier, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang called for awareness on the dangers of neonatal tetanus, warning that mothers could be infected during unsafe and unhygienic delivery of their babies.
Inyang said Gov. Ayade is very concerned about elimination of neonatal tetanus and will continue give his support, calling on all stakeholders to ensure elimination of neonatal tetanus.
Earlier, Head of Local Government Administration Akamkpa, Mr. Bassey Efiom said the essence of the exercise is to make sure the mother and the child are in good health.
He specially thanked the state governor, Commissioner and DG for their continuous support to primary healthcare across the state.
Akpan Etukudoh Asare