The Cross River State Government in collaboration with the Federal Government through its Primary Healthcare Development Agencies are calling for decent and outright measures to effective Health Care service delivery to help reduce the rate of maternal and child mortality in Cross River.
The call was made during the flag off ceremony of the training/orientation for newly recruited midwives with the theme “Reach Every Ward with Skilled Birth Attendants (REWSB)” as part of modalities towards the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund programme implementation in the state.
The Director General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr. Janet Ekpenyong in an opening remarks, thanked the federal government for its contributions towards the actualization of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund programme in states adding that the scheme will boost adequate facility utilization especially in the rural areas.
She maintained that the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund programme has played an important role in developing and strengthening of health facilities and at large the Primary Healthcare system by ensuring that health services are administered rightly and at it’s set pace.
She also commended the state Governor, His Excellency, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade for all his effort in pushing the health sector to the next level noting that he has placed a top priority on the Health sector which have really helped in strengthening the health care services in the State.
“Midwives play a huge role in creating demand for facility utilization, especially for pregnant women and children under 5. If you have a nurse and a midwife in a health facility, you are more confident that pregnant women are going to be receiving quality health services from a skilled birth attendant.”
“In our effort to ensure that we can reduce maternal and infant mortality, we believe that a skilled birth attendant should be in our health facilities and that is why His Excellency, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade is committed to the actualization of this laudable initiative in Cross River State.”
“We are also glad that Cross River State is the first state to implement this program in the country. This is actually a national policy and it is expected that every state will benefit from the basic healthcare fund. However, I will encourage everyone to buy in and let there be that political will that can give it the necessary push.”
In his response, the representative of the ED, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Obasi gave an insight on the objectives of the training which he said is to ensure that Nurses and Midwives become well trained ,equipped with modern regiments of service .
He said, the training will afford the beneficiaries the requisite details and offer them the capacity to disseminate same knowledge when rendering health care services; and to ensure seemless Birth delivery in Health facilities and not in Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs).
He also advised the State should leverage on Basic Healthcare Provision Fund to improve the capacities of Midwives as training/orientation is strictly with a focus of having skilled Birth Attendants in the State Health Centres as he pledged full support for the program.
The Chairman, House Committee on Health, Hon. Dr. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey, in his remarks, stated that having to train Midwives, it will help reduce the rate of maternal and child mortality rate, it will help safeguard the lives of pregnant women, noting that more funds must be pushed and set aside for the health sector.
This training is very important because it has been the concern of the government to reduce maternal, neonatal, and childhood mortality in the country and Cross River State in particular. 512 women out of every 100,000 lives die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, this is unacceptable anywhere in the world.
Speaking on the challenges the training will help address, Mrs. Gertrude Usani, a retired Director of Nursing Services, Cross River State mentioned that the training is coming at the right time and that issues bothering on Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), child and maternal mortality will be managed and well addressed.
“The government has come in timely to select retired and well-experienced midwives to attend to the necessity on ground. What is happening now is that we are lacking a lot of skilled manpower in the health centers and grassroots areas”.
“So selecting us to go there and man the manpower that is there will help reduce the maternal and child mortality and morbidity rate in the state.
“One major issue we must address is the issue of TBAs. The TBAs most times bite more than they can chew. Some of them are experienced but we always tell them to refer to a higher cadre hospital when they identify complications. But they always try to sort things out by themselves till the cases are complicated beyond management, they now send it to the hospital.”
Other contributions came in from the Permanent secretary SMOH represented by the DA Barr John Odu, Permanent secretary SPHCDA Barr Emmanuel Ekeh, Mrs Pauline Obute Director Nursing services, Mrs Sally Enyim, Director Community and family Health, Mrs Ekaete Ekpenyong, BHCPF focal person,
Dr Ojo of World Health Organization, Dr Daggy of MSF and other supportive partners who commended the state government for it’s pace in the adaptation of modern medical practices and it’s resultant effects on citizens.
High point of the event was the official Flag-off by the Chairman House Committee on Health, Dr Ekpo Ekpo Bassey and the nurses pledge by the midwives who pledged to ensure best practices in their health facilities.