Group wants Soludo’s govt to sustain lead on maternal and child health care

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Lawrence Nwimo, Awka

A coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has lauded Anambra State Government on the progress it has made in the area of maternal and child health and other healthcare service delivery in the state.

The group said the government’s initiative to introduce free antenatal and free childbirth across primary healthcare centers in the state has given a boost to maternal and child health care, urging the government to sustain the progress for a better healthy society. 

The group gave the commendations during a meeting with the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) at the ASHIA complex, Awka, the state capital.

Ikengaonline reports that the meeting was to strategize for the second phase of the project on Strengthening Public Accountability for Result and Knowledge (SPARK 2) in Anambra state. 

The project which is supported by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) has Community Empowerment Network (COMEN), with the Justice Development and Peace Caritas (JDPC) Nnewi, Civil Rights Concern (CRC), and other civil society organizations as its Network of Health Partners in the state.

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Speaking on the approach and activities intended for the intervention program, representative of JDPC Nnewi and SPARK 2 Project Manager, Mr Onyekachi Ololo explained that the approach will not be infrastructure-based but human capacity building and engaging the community leaders towards improving maternal health services in their locality. 

“Our SPARK One targeted water and sanitation at health facilities. This spark Two will beam light on maternal and child health. It focuses on what we can do to improve maternal and child health in the state’s healthcare system.”

He continued, “Recent statistics show that Anambra maternal and neonatal death rate is low but there is a need to sustain it. We know the government is doing effectively well but our interest is for the state to sustain that tempo. 

“We have observed that ASHIA is already doing enough in the area of healthcare financing. We are aware that the Agency has their own monitoring team but we don’t know how expanded the team is. However, we hope to join ASHIA in monitoring at primary healthcare level which is our core area of interest,” Ololo submitted.

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COMEN Chairman Anambra state, Ide Godwin Eze, said the intention of the partnership was to collaborate with the agency and to strengthen link with the Community Agency- COMEN- at the grassroots towards lifting maternal and child healthcare delivery in the state.

He emphasized that the partnership would ensure that the state does not backslide, but strengthen community-level efforts in advocacy and resource mobilization for maternal and child health interventions. 

Executive Director, Civil Rights Concern, Okey Onyeka, said that maternal and child health is a critical area which deserves close attention from the government and non-governmental actors.

Earlier in her opening remarks, COMEN SPARK Project Consultant, Mrs Ugochi Ehiahuruike said collaboration between CSOs and ASHIA will enable the partners reach a greater heights and number of beneficiaries, adding that the overall goal is to promote access to maternal and child health and healthy living in the state. 

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“We are looking at maternal and child health in the state’s healthcare service delivery. The essence of this intervention is to solicit partnership to ensure that we reach out to more people in the communities. If ASHIA can enroll nursing mothers, single mothers, persons with disabilities, into its scheme, we want to explore how we can work together looking at programmes from the gender and intersectionality lens to ensure that the services reach more people in different areas,” she said.

Responding, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi assured the Agency’s support and commitment to the SPARK 2 project to improve maternal and child health delivery in the state.

The ASHIA boss however charged the group to sensitize the public particularly philanthropists on the hazards associated with health outreaches. He also urged them to encourage enrollment of people into ASHIA health insurance schemes for better health maintenance.

2 thoughts on “Group wants Soludo’s govt to sustain lead on maternal and child health care

  1. Online and hardcopies newspapers
    They are both source of information, they both have captioned stories and they both have pictures on the front pages.

  2. The article is very relevant to readers because it talks about a current problem that is affecting our community.

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