Maternal Child Health: Gombe partners NGO on village health workers initiative

GOV. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has renewed the State Government readiness to sustain the Village Health Workers initiated by Society for Family Health (SFH).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is aimed at improving Maternal and Newborn Child Health (MNCH) in the state.

Yahaya made the pledge in Gombe on Tuesday at the Maternal Newborn and Child Health dissemination, with the theme “Improving MNCH through effective collaborative partnership and government ownership’’, organised by SFH.

“I want to express my administration readiness of the timely release of the fund to sustain the Village Health Workers scheme.

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“We want to reap its maximum benefits as well as seek for new areas of intervention for the benefit of Gombe people,” the governor said.

He said the poor indices recorded in so many areas of health would be corrected with collaboration with international organisations in the state.

Dr Omokhudu Idogho, the General Manager, SFH, said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the project to reduce maternal newborn and child morbidity by increasing coverage of lifesaving intervention across 50 per cent of Gombe population.

He said the project works with selected and trained women who were referred to as Village Health Workers.

According to him, the village health workers are an arm of the formal health system and are invariably regarded as the government recognised staff.

He called on the state government to invest in health in order to achieve universal health coverage.

Mrs Bolanle Oyebola, MNCH Head SFH, said the village health workers role is to conduct a home-to-home visit to pregnant women and nursing mothers in their communities to increase demand and uptake of health facility service, administer basic lifesaving drugs as well as first aid treatment.

She said 1,200 village health workers recorded 384,899 contact visits with pregnant women in the state for the intervention period between November 2016 and October 2018.

She said out of the 165,105 women were registered and referred to focal health facilities and out of the number 43,705 completed their antenatal care visit and 45,334 completed postnatal care and 58,130 delivered in the health facilities.

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