The Plateau State government is administering vitamin A supplements to children below five years.
The Plateau State Government said it plans to administer vitamin A supplement to about 858,800 children between the ages of zero to five years of age within one week.
The Commissioner for Health, Fom Dakwak, stated this on Monday in Bukuru, Jos South Local Government Area of the state during the official flagging off of Maternal Neonatal Child health, MNCH, week in the state.
About 315 women who brought their children to the flag off were administered the vitamin A supplement and 1500 expectant women are expected attend the week-long free antenatal program in Jos South.
The health commissioner lamented that over 29 per cent of children below five years are vitamin A deficient.
The health commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Elias Pede, said that “the ministry has directed the seventeen local government areas of the state to provide funds for the purchase of drugs and other interventions to be given free of charge at all the Health facilities providing routine services throughout the state.”
He charged health officials to ensure that these interventions get to the targeted persons, free of charge and called on supervisors who are deployed to LGA’s to monitor and supervise the conduct of week-long exercise.
Wives of local government council transition chairmen were urged to personally supervise the free medical activities in their council areas in order to ensure the success of the free health program.
The wife of the Plateau State Governor, Talatu Jang, represented by the commissioner for women affairs, Olivia Dazyem, said Nigeria still has very high maternal motility rate.
Ms. Jang said Plateau State is striving to meet the 2015 MDG’s target.
She lamented that the “mortality rates from 2003 to date has only slightly reduced, thereby putting Nigeria in a group of countries with insufficient progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals”.
Ms. Jang said it is the desire of the federal government to institutionalize the MNCH week strategy in all the states to improve access to good quality health services in order to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health.
The Maternal Newborn and Child Health week is a week-long activity organized to deliver an integrated package of highly cost effective promotion and preventive services, she explained.
On his part, the management committee chairman of Jos South Local Government Area, Peter Dung, said the council would work with the state government to implement the Millennium Development Goals targets in the health sector.