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Stakeholders Call For Improvement On Family Planning, Maternal Health



By Gabriel Chy Alonta & Lawrence Nwimo


Stakeholders including health experts and media professionals have reechoed call for an improved family planning and maternal health in Anambra state.


They maintained that effective maternal health was paramount in a society that desires increase in the health and socio-economic well-being of families.


The brainstorming session was organised by The Change Initiative (TCI), and took place on Thursday in Awka, the Anambra state capital.


The event was themed, “Improving Access to Family Planning Services Among Women of Reproductive Age in Anambra State”, Orient Daily reports.


Speaking at the event, the TCI Family Planning Coordinator, Mr. Aneotah Egbe, said the programme was to support the trainings, supportive supervision, smart advocacy and social mobilization towards improving public maternal health.


Also, the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala, said the state government had made provisions to ensure good family planning and free healthcare services in the state.


Okpala, represented by the Director of Public Health Services, Dr. Uchechukwu Onyejimbe, blamed faith-based facilities and private health facility owners in the state for the high cost of medical services in the state, adding that some basic healthcare needs of the people, were adequately provided by the government.


Contributing, the Executive Secretary of Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Chioma Ezenyimulu, appealed to Anambra state government to consider prioritizing the recruitment of more health workers in the state to improve healthcare delivery in the state.


Ezenyimulu said there had been massive retirement in the health sector over the years which, she said, had hindered progress of healthcare service to the people, while calling on government to look out for replacement for health workers.


“As far back as 2018, there was recruitment exercise done by local government service commission and up till now, they have not released list of successful candidates”, she said.


In a remark, the chairman of Civil Society Organization, Mr. Chris Azor, noted that security and welfare of the people form the primary aim of any government, stressing that government must ensure it take adequate care of the citizens by providing basic healthcare for their safety.


Azor also called for a sustained partnership and collaboration between the state government and the private bodies as regards to providing basic health needs for the citizens. He added that some healthcare services can even be subsidized if there is adequate collaboration with private sector in the state.


Sir Chuka Nnabuife, the managing director, Anambra Newspaper and Printing Corporation, had, in a remark, urged Anambrarians to ensure they support the efforts of government instead of relying so much on government healthcare interventions.


He told his audience to be the change agents that will look out for means of contributing to the wellbeing of the people in communities. He said the society must appreciate the efforts of philanthropist who does well to provide free medical facilities.


Resource persons at the event, Mrs. Chioma Okedo identified staff attrition, religious and cultural barriers, myths and misconceptions, poor funding, to hindrances to family planning, while Mrs. Ify Unachukwu of Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS), on the other hand, recommended that staff recruitment, and increased budgetary allocation be considered for improved healthcare service in the state.


Earlier, the Media Focal Person for the programme, Mrs. Franca Madike, said the event was aimed at sensitising the citizens in achieving goals of safe motherhood. She said sound knowledge of family planning would help reduce number of women that die from pregnancy and child birth related complications.


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